William and John Bissell established Bhadrajun Artisans Trust (BAT) in 1988
Back from the USA after his studies, William, with Rajkumar Rodla, visited the villages in Rajasthan, talking to different sets of artisans about his ... In September 1988, William decided to register the Bhadrajun Artisan's Trust. The Society for formally formed on the 25th of June 1992 and established The Fabindia School

Pic - John sharing his point of view with Madhukar Khera 
Founding Members:
1. William N Bissell 
2. Ravi Kaimal 
3. Aman Nath
4. Anita Prasher
5. Sushila Kumari
6. Rajkumar Rodla 
7. Vishnu Kant 

The Fabindia School is located in Bali, Pali district of Rajasthan. Today, it is co-educational, a senior secondary school with a capacity of 750 students. The school offers scholarships for girls in partnership with "The John Bissell Scholars Fund", established in 2000.

Fabindia (or Fabindia Ltd.) is an Indian chain store retailing garments, furnishings, fabrics and ethnic products handmade by craftspeople across rural India. Established in 1960 by John Bissell, an American working for the Ford Foundation, New Delhi, Fabindia started out exporting home furnishings, before stepping into domestic retail in 1976, it opened its first Fabindia retail store in Greater Kailash, New Delhi. Today it has over 300 stores across India and abroad and is managed by his son, William Bissell. The products of Fabindia are mainly sourced from villages, helping to provide and sustain rural employment in India. They are currently produced by over 40,000 artisans and craftspeople across India. Hand-crafted products also encourage good craftsmanship. - Facts from Wikipedia

William N Bissell "I am passionate about Education...

William N Bissell
William, the co-founder of The Fabindia School and has collaboratively developed the vision and approach of the school since its inception. In addition to his unwavering commitment to the school, William is best known as a leading social entrepreneur and is the Managing Director of Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd, a textile company started by his father, John Bissell, in 1960. After completing his B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA, in 1988, William returned to India to work in the rural crafts sector to address economic development issues. Living in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and travelling extensively throughout the state, William helped to form the Bhadrajun Artisans Trust (BAT) in 1988, which was initially envisioned as an artisan cooperative for leatherworkers and weavers based in Rajasthan. After encountering several limitations in running BAT as an artisans' cooperative, he changed his approach and helped launch a Jodhpur-based company in 1990 called Desert Artisans Handicrafts (DAH), in which artisans became shareholders over the next 6 years. DAH has grown to witness tremendous success for its artisan members, whereas BAT has become solely focused on education, with The Fabindia School as its only project.

From 1990 to 1999, William continued to work in the craft sector and investigated many different forms of "Community Ownership," finally finding a method of allowing small shareholders to buy into community-owned companies while gaining access to necessary capital funds. William worked with Banks to ensure these unlisted companies could offer liquidity to their shareholders. It took another five years to work out an accurate valuation methodology for correctly valuing the assets of these community-owned companies, providing artisan shareholders with an opportunity to realise this value. 

In 1999, William became the Managing Director of Fabindia. Throughout his career, William has dedicated his energy to empowering the creative potential of rural India by promoting access to quality education and providing economic opportunities for its traditional artisans.

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