Jaya Jaitly is the former president of the Samata Party, a key ally of the NDA Government (1998–2004), and an eminent expert in the traditional arts and crafts of India. She has worked closely with craftspeople since 1965 to sustain traditional livelihoods and preserve India’s crafts heritage. Having founded the Dastkari Haat Samiti, a body of craftspeople, in 1986, she established Dilli Haat a permanent marketplace showcasing weaves and handicrafts, in 1994. Her work brings together rural artisans within India, and of India, with those of Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran, Eygpt and many other countries. These programs have often been supported by the Indian Government as an instrument in diplomacy.
Jaitly was educated in the UK, Burma, Japan, India and the USA. Her published works include Craft Traditions of India (1990), Crafts of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh (1999), A Podium on the Pavement (2005), Biju Spins Some Magic (2005), Crafting Nature (2007), Crafts Atlas of India (2012), Woven Textiles of Varanasi (2014), The Artistry Of Handwork (2014), and Vishvakarma's Children: Stories of India's Craftspeople (2001). Jaya Jaitly is based in Delhi.