A graduate from the School of Planning and Architecture , New Delhi, Purnima Rai after a few years of working on architectural projects, joined the Delhi Crafts Council, a voluntary and non-governmental organisation working for the development of traditional crafts. Since 1986, when she joined the Council, she has worked on multidimensional aspects related to crafts which include exhibitions, design projects, documentation and workshops. She was in charge of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Council in 2016-17 and worked on several specially curated exhibitions .
In 1996 she worked independently on putting up an exhibition of Indian crafts in Brazil. She has designed and helped publish ‘Venu Bharati’ , a comprehensive volume on bamboo written by Shri Vinoo Kaley.
She is a former President of Delhi Crafts Council and continues to be closely involved with the Council’s activities. She has also helped set up ‘ Kamala’ , a craft outlet of Crafts Council of India in New Delhi and is an active member of its Managing Committee.