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Revival of Eco-Friendly Traditional Handicrafts by Providing Alternate Livelihoods for Women, India

Requested by

Crescent Educational Society

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

Due to economic development in urban areas, the rural areas are slowly reducing as urban settlements are fast developing. Though Kanyakumari and Trivandrum districts are considered as developed districts, as we go interior towards forest area of these districts, people are having livelihood constraints.

Agriculture lands are converted into human settlements so fast as the return from agriculture is very meager due to lack of affordable credit. This in-turn will have an impact on food security and nutrition of women will be at risk in rural areas. Investment, production, and economic growth have been concentrated in urban areas of the same districts, while the rural areas of the target districts are lagging in the process of economic development. Many people have shifted from agriculture related livelihoods due to exploitations and less income.

These districts are famous for traditional handicrafts produced by rural artisans. In the nineties coconut handicrafts, bamboo handicrafts, fiber handicrafts, shell handicrafts, pottery, etc and raw materials for these handicrafts were abundant in these districts. Due to lack of marketing facilities, these traditional handicrafts were totally abandoned by rural artisans. Their skills were not recognized by proper wages as labor wage is more in construction sector. Hence rural artisans have changed their profession for survival.

What is your project and how will it help?

CESDLSI is extending revolving fund support for rural artisans, marginal farmers, fish vendors and micro entrepreneurs through partnership model, thereby encouraging socio-economic development of vulnerable families and also building similar institutions.

Already CESDLSI is supporting 150 rural artisans, farmers, micro entrepreneurs with start-up revolving fund for a tune of 27,500 USD. The repayment tenure is 12 months with an interest rate of 12% charged by Government Banks. We focus on existing practitioners like traditional artisans, farmers, micro entrepreneurs, etc and provide revolving support to strengthen their livelihoods. We also provide capital support plus for hand-holding in market linkages, especially our portfolio comprises of 70% rural artisans involved in production of traditional eco friendly handicrafts, 20% on farmers and 10% on micro entrepreneurs.

CESDLSI focuses on inclusion of traditional artisans in the process of development by linking with markets and sustaining rural handicrafts. In farming sector, natural calamities and marketing are beyond our control and hence we are addressing exploitation by middlemen and MFIs. Similarly for micro entrepreneurs we provide capital support along with information’s regarding market linkages.

CESDLSI is focusing on livelihood intervention of women thereby developing the socio-economic standard of family with more focus on children. Our intervention involves promotion of handicraft production units, where women can work for particular time to generate income for their family. The marketing will be supported by CESDLSI and hence they can have better income to support the family with focus on children’s education and nutrition. Even the production unit will serve as a crèche for the siblings as the mothers can work and look after their children during their working hours.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

CESDLSI has promoted a partnership firm to take up market linkages of traditional handicrafts. It provides hand-holding support to rural artisans in marketing of finished products at better prices. We do charge a small service charge and this will sustain the initiative. The revolving fund will be ploughed back for reaching more rural artisans, farmers and micro entrepreneurs.

People can partner with us by helping us with funding for our projects.

Please detail the resources that you need.

Sewing Machine with motor (1)- Rs.12,000
Scissors Big (5)- Rs.1000
Scissors Medium (5) – Rs.500
Adjustable Frame (6)- Rs.12,000
Working capital and raw materials (18womenx Rs.5000 each)- Rs.90,000

Total Rs.1,15,500 = 2,310 USD

Further information

Contact details

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Partnership types

Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Asia: India

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development


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