Laila is Chairperson and founder member of Dastkar, an NGO working with Crafts & Craftspeople all over India. Laila's work with artisans over the last 30 years includes the Chikan workers of SEWA Lucknow, Lambani tribals in Karnataka, Ari, mirror-work and Kantha craftswomen in Kashmir, Kutch and Bengal.
Many of her most rewarding and exciting projects involve creating new employment avenues through craft for pastoral and marginalised rural communities - bonded labour in Bihar, displaced villages in Ranthambhore, victims of insurgency in Kashmir.
In her previous pre-Dastkar incarnation Laila studied art in Baroda and Japan, and worked as a freelance designer in textiles, graphics, interiors and the theatre.
She writes and speaks regularly on craft, design and social issues, and is part of numerous government and non-government committees and think-tanks on crafts, culture and development.
She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2012.