Our Story

The Agency for Non Konventional Urban Rural Initiatives - ANKURI has been working in northern Uttarakhand, India, since 2000 and now supports over 100 women through a variety of projects that provide employment, education, and training in skills such as knitting, entrepreneurship, and organic farming. We structure our programs around the the belief that for sustainable social and economic development to be successful, an integrated approach is essential.

The word ankuri means a ‘sprouting seed.’ Just as a tiny seed has the potential to grow into a vast tree, ANKURI has grown from a single idea that was sown over fifteen years ago out of the desire to see the rural community grow and flourish into strong, independent, and respected members of their society.

Registered as a society in 2004 after four years of informal working with the rural communities, the Agency for Non-Konventional Urban and Rural Initiatives – ANKURI – is a nonprofit committed to empowering rural women, alleviating poverty and promoting the full participation of women in their societies.

Over the years, ANKURI has expanded this vision by creating an internship program to partner with universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India to host student interns to participate as catalysts in our programs. We are in the process of starting a small organic farm with the aim of creating a model permaculture system that local villagers can replicate.

We market our products under our social enterprise, Pure Hands by ANKURI.



















Knitting program started as an employment generation program

Participate in Dastkar Annual Craft Bazaars with the products knitted by the women

Start supplying hand-knitted mufflers and hats to FabIndia. www.fabindia.com

Establish an yearly English summer school for village teenagers taught by US volunteers

FabIndia order expands to include stoles

Participate in Dastakari Haat Annual Bazaar

Four week Internship Program with medical undergrad students from US universities

Collaborate with designer Tahir Sultan

Interns from US universities initiate annual Health Camps - www.dilse.com

Spinning Program in collaboration with Khadi Gram Udyog at the Rikholi campus

Collaborate with Khadi Industries to train 40 women to spin

Stitching and embroidery training for 40 women 

Literacy Centre formally started

Spinning Centre closes down due to flash floods

First Literacy Centre intern 

Internship Program formally launched with US universities

Agriculture Program formally launched

Internship Program formally launched with UK university