Meet our Team - Forest Post

At the Grassroots

In Adichilthotti

The first thing you’d notice about this village nestled in the Edamalayar valley is the sheer bounty of its rainforests. Tree ferns bordering rocks, streams gushing in the monsoon, rich fertile soil where the native people grow coffee and pepper among other crops. The Muthuvar women are traditional bamboo weavers, and there are a few young men who are into bamboo craft. Traditionally the woven baskets are left on the wood stove attic to smoke – for protection from insects and fungus.


Reed bamboo weaver, who is also a great farmer and grandmother.


Specializes in Kannadi paaya. Sits under a giant tree in a thatched structure for her weaving.


A weaver, farmer and mother. Her kitchen floor mats are in Kannadi paaya style.


Says her eyes are giving up on her, but her baskets and kannadi paaya are a visual treat.


Finds time for weaving amidst her packed farming schedule.


The youngest weaver in the group. Works with ease (and a sparkle in her eyes!) on her
exquisite Kannadi paaya mats.


No kind of reed bamboo weaving is a challenge for her. She also tends to coffee and pepper crops.


Dedicated reed bamboo weaver, known for her fine slivers. Also an impossible dog lover.


Light spirited and hard working, he is the one who leads Bambusa harvest hikes.


An artist in his own right, his bamboo skill is reflected in his home’s interiors and garden fences.


Young and confident, her kannadi paayas and koombili baskets are a class apart.


One of the youngest Kannadi paaya weavers. Charming and grounded.


Is a sharp learner and has a way of doing things with creativity and finesse.


Traditional weaver with a fiercely independent spirit. Her pouches are quite popular at sales.

In Karikkadav

Along a tributary of Karuvannur river that flows down from the Parambikulam slopes is a small community of Malayar people. They share their forest domain with the Kadar in the neighbouring village of Anapantham. The access to Karikkadav is through degraded forests interspersed with a drab rubber plantation landscape. One can still spot sambar deer and the stunning Malabar Trogon on wild trails around the village. The women’s group here is into production of beeswax soaps and rubs, herbal hair oils and wild food preserves and pickles.


A wonderful cook and holds the group together with her calm presence.


She is the bubbly younger one with a streak of mischief in her.


The silent worker, she is in charge of soap wrapping, weighing oils, packing and so on.

Swapna Narayanan

Knows the forest really well, thanks to her ventures into the wild with her husband.


Another young energy in the group, always carrying a smile and willing to try new things.

Sanitha Sasi

The quieter one in the group, she has a keen eye on nature and hence knows harvest seasons well.


A storehouse of native culinary knowledge.
The group relies on her for wild food inspirations and production planning.

Saritha Vinod

Always carries a stress-free spirit, even in times of crisis at the production unit.

In Chimmony

In the fringes of Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary there is a small Malayar village. The community seems to take pride in the fresh air and clear unpolluted waters they are blessed with. Our work in Chimmony is in close partnership with the Eco Development Committee.


Binds the team with her warm, generous spirit and keeps an eye on overall production.

Ramya Raman

Knows the forest quite well and is originally from a Kadar village.


A patient and dedicated worker, quiet in nature.


A patient and dedicated worker, quiet in nature. Has a grand daughter to dote on.


Has a strong urge to learn new designs, she creates macramé  magic with her deft fingers.



Is in charge of harvest and coordination of wild foods value addition.


Mother of two, keen learner and carries a gentle spirit.



Balances her family time and work at the paper bag unit with great ease. Does macramé with care.

In Anapantham

Apart from Vazhachal, this is our only project village inhabited by the Kadar people. The Kadars were called Kings of the Forest by the British for good reason. Such ease with which they carry themselves in the wilderness and an almost nomadic and zero-materialistic lifestyle. The tailoring and macrame trainings for young women in Anapantham rewarded us with two bright stars. Both are young mothers and spend summer months deep inside forests, gathering forest produce. Then there is a special couple who not only know the forest and its seasons, but also take joy and pride in their experience of the wild.


Enjoys macrame as much as going into the forest with her family on wild forages.



No part of the forest is unknown or difficult terrain for this man. It is as if he has a mental map of where wild resources are distributed in the wild.


Is in tune with the seasonal MFP harvests, and has refined tailoring skills.



One of the younger Kadar women who still takes pride in the forest. Light footed and brimming with confidence.



An asset to the enterprise with her knowledge of the forest. Her face lights up when she talks of wild edibles!

In Sholayar & Vazhachal

On the banks of Chalakudy river or Cholayar live the Kadar people. The forests are their ancestral domain and their livelihoods are largely forest-dependent. While being harvesters of minor forest products, they are also key resource persons when we organise knowledge sharing workshops


The forest keeper who inspires us all. Medicine woman and elephant whisperer too.



His knowledge of the forest and gentle spirit make the trails most valuable.



Shy natured but a storehouse of legends and songs when probed.

Swapna Vinayan

Fishing expert, bamboo artisan and mother of two. Holds the group together with her warmth and laughter.



Works silently with great speed and focus. Her expertise in crab hunt matches none other’s.



By far the most amazing culinary expert in the community. Has an infectious spirit and die hard attitude.

In Marayur

Kummitankuzhi is a non-descript hamlet in Marayur. These young women belonging to the Hill Pulaya community are no longer forest-dependent but have memories of growing up feasting on forest honey and other wild edibles. Their laughter and confidence gives hope to us.


The quieter of the lot, her anklets and planters are great finish.



Her enthusiasm and optimism is infectious. Is good at both macrame and crochet.

Ramya S


Works silently with great speed and focus. Has her roots in Kodaikanal.


Kind hearted and a quick learner recently picked up crochet skills.



A very focused worker but not without a naughty streak of mischief. Skilled in macrame and crochet.

Ramya M


Keen learner and holds the group together with her assuring smile.

Business Development and Operations

Syamdas CS

Production Manager

Plans and oversees production, and is in charge of accounts. Calm and composed on even the most stressful days. A perfectionist who’s also a percussionist!

Unnikrishnan P

Operations Head

Hardworking and hands on. In charge of order management and despatch. Enjoys travel and carries a light, easy going spirit.

Meetu Grover

Business Development

Gives direction to
our business side of things, especially communication and partnerships strategy. Is a die-hard dog lover and connoisseur of arts, literature, music and food.

Founder & Partner

Dr. Manju Vasudevan


An ecologist by training, now works on community-led forest conservation. Is passionate about everything that’s handmade.

Read More

Dr. Sreeja KG


Agricultural economist and poet at heart, her research addresses climate change and resilience in smallholder producer economies.

Read More

Shopping Cart