Accredited with Special Consultative Status to ECOSOC, by UN General Assembly, July 2013
Economic Empowerment

We aim at developing sustainable livelihood opportunities for backward communities through micro enterprise development. We use Theatre in Development methodologies to build life skills, design skills as well as marketing skills of rural entrepreneurs who lack formal education and initiate them to work together as clusters and create brand identities for their products.


  • 1 Capacity Building Workshop
  • 2 Capacity building
  • 3 Creations
  • 4 Sensitisation workshop
  • 5 SHG members making artistic woodwork
  • 6 Skill building sessions
  • 7 Training sessions
  • 8 Workshops with stakeholders
Our Work
  • Promoting cluster based growth (sectors: non farm products, handicrafts).

  • Capacity building for improved product/design development, better market prospects and life skills.

    Marketing via SHG Federation

    Conducting research and studies for surveying potential rural livelihood sectors and identifying artisans, assessing market potential and establish replicable models for growth of rural enterprise.

    Improving market reach and strengthening market linkage. New products are developed and market tested

    Database are created on artisans – critical for making an economic case for the business hub

    Creation and wide distribution of brochures and catalogs

    Developing Public – Private- Panchayat Partnership

    Technical, Infrastructure support needs are identified and pilot training programmes undertaken as ‘action’ components.

    Building effective linkage between rural entrepreneurs and wider national/ international markets by collaborating with members of industry through RBHs
Micro enterprise at grass roots, Our Experience

Our Experience in Livelihood Sector

Srl

Project

Supported by

District

State

Rural enterprises Covered

Focus Areas

1. 

Development of Cluster with weaver SHGs,2008-2009

Ministry of textiles, Government of India

Nadia

West Bengal

200 Weaver SHGs in Shantipur Block

Cluster development, market linkage

2.

Action research to set up rural business hubs,2007-2008

Ministry of Panchayat , GoI

Coochbihar, North 24 Parganas, Birbhum, Purulia, Purba and Paschim Medinipur

West Bengal

Jute, Sitalpati, Lac, Tassar, Embroidery, Patachitra, Madurkathi, Pottery, Incense Sticks

Cluster development, Market linkage and promotion

3. 

Action research on forest based livelihoods,2007-2008

Department of Forest

Purulia, South 24 Parganas

West Bengal

Lac, Tassar, Sal leaf plates, Incense Sticks

Capacity building

4.

Leveraging economic activities of the Poor (LEAP),2007-2008

Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor Project (KUSP)

Hooghly, North 24 Parganas

West Bengal

Embroidery, bag making, jute products

Capacity Building, Cluster Development, Brand building and promotion

5.

Knowledge Aided Rural Marketing Initiatives (KARMI),2003-2005

DRD Cells

Purba Medinipur (Satadal) and North 24 Pargans (Angana)

West Bengal

Conch Shell, Jute, Wood carving, Madurkathi, Embroidery etc.

Capacity Building, Cluster Development, Brand building and promotion

6. 

Study to develop five year  district action plan for developing nonfarm sector,2005

NABARD

Murshidabad

West Bengal

Study covered non farm sector enterprise across all the  blocks

Action Plan development

7. 

Jute Diversified Product,200-2005

NCJD, JMDC

Nadia, Bardhaman, Siliguri, different states of India

West Bengal

Jute diversified products

Promotion of JDP as a livelihood option

8. 

Ethnomagic Going Global,2009-2011

European Union. Partners IICTD, London & PAX, Liverpool, associate UNESCO, Delhi)

Purulia, East and West Medinipur,Malda,Nadia, Bankura

West Bengal

The six art forms of Chau,Jhumur,Domni,Gambhira,Patachitra and Baul Fakiri.

Promoting Rural enterprise on the six identified folk forms

9. 

Ambedkar Hasthshilpa Vikas Yojana,2010-2015

Office of the Development Commisioner (Handicrafts),Ministry of Textiles,GOI

Pingla

West Bengal

Patachitra Craft Enterprise

Development Of  Patachitra Cluster

10. 

Evaluation study of UNESCO South Asia Seal of Excellence Awards for Crafts,2010

UNESCO

India ,Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives

West Bengal

Handicrafts :Textiles, Natural Fibre, Ceramics, Wood, Stone, Metal, Other (including paintings)

Evaluation Study of the impact of the Award

11. 

Baseline Study of Handloom in Fulia

Crafts Revival Trust

West Bengal, Nadia

West Bengal

Handloom (Tant ) saris of Fulia

Baseline study of the status of the Handloom Industry

12. 
Empowering Women Folk Painters at Madhubani to Run Crative Business U.S Department of State Madhubani Bihar Madhubani painters of four GPs namely Simri, Satghara, Chichri Kanungo and Ranti Cluster development, market linkage

 
Sustainable forest Livlihood generation related research projects were also undertaken at amongst the forest fringe communities to reduce forest resource depletion. The Forest protection members were trained in scientific ways of lac and Tassar cultivation and this led to immediate improved income

Know More


Special Focus : Action Research for formation of Rural Business Hubs


Handicraft and silk of Bengal have been famous across the world since times of yore. Unfortunately our weavers and crafts persons remain poor. The Rural Business Hubs (RBHs) initiated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Govt of India targets fostering economic prosperity in rural India by developing Public, Private and Panchayat partnership to promote economic growth of rural industries.


Area of work :

25 Blocks in 6 districts of West Bengal namely Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Birbhum, North 24 Parganas, Coochbehar and Purulia.



Action Components
:

Sensitization
Planning
Cluster Formation
Skill Development
Market Promotion
Business Development
PRI Mobilization


Special Focus : The Handicraft Forms and their revival story


Patachitra

Patachitra is a folk form where folk painters depict stories while songing and unfolding the scroll. Today this folk art has been revived through collective effort by Governmental and Non Governmental agencies.

Kantha Stitch

‘Kantha’ is traditional needlework and embroidery of Bengali women. Women used to stitch together pieces of garment for use as bedspreads, mirror-wraps, and the like. Today this traditional stitch work  is used to make sarees, scarves, dress material, bed spread and cushion covers made of cotton and silk having unique color combinations and patterns.

 

Leather goods

Santiniketan in Birbhum  is  known for its artistic leather products. Various types of handbags, pouches, bags with leather batik, embossed design and painting  are made here. Santiniketani leather products, as these artistic leather products are popularly called, originated during the time of Rabindranath Tagore as part of his pioneering rural development work here.

 

Pottery

In ancient times there was a practice of incorporating terracotta art upon temples and other architectures thus ,increasing the aesthetic beauty of the building. The artisans today work with different kinds of clay, which are shaped into various designs and then burnt in furnace. Terracotta is used in the production of utility items and also a number of modern items such as flower vase, home décor items, pot, table, jewellery and lampshades of varieties.

Madurkathi

Mats(Madur) are of daily household use in India and the usage is traditional. Mat sticks(Madurkathi) are obtained by cultivation and are eco-friendly in nature.The Madurkathi is cut into various shapes, both small and big for useful purposes. Madurkathi weaving is a traditional craft in different areas of rural Bengal like Bhagwanpur, Patashpur, Ramnagar and Sabang

Sitalpati

Sitalpati mats are an integral component of traditional Bengali lifestyle. Sital (cool) while Pati (floor mat). As the name suggests, these floor mats are popular for the comfort they offer in hot days of summer.  Sitalpati is made from a type of cane grown in cool and humid climates of Coochbehar and Assam. Weaving Sitalpai has been a traditional activity for more than 10,000 families in this area.

Jute Crafts

In the past decade Government of India took a number of initiatives to promote alternative livelihood in making jute diversified products. Jute raw material bank was set up at Siliguri. Coochbehar is a jute growing area. At Dinhata-I block there are around 300 men and women who make braided jute products, various types of jute mats and jute carpets

Lac

Lac cultivation and lac business started in Balarampur area of Purulia during British rule and was known for quality and volume production.  Lac cultivation was thriving in the villages of Balarampur and Baghmundi in the 90s. The area has an abundance of Palash, Kusum and Kul trees due to which lac cultivation was a major activity here. Now the cultivation is at a low due to the lack of availability of brood lac and deforestation. The farmers are not aware of the scientific process of cultivation of lac. The villagers mentioned that the local environment has changed due to the setting up of Sponge Iron factories in the vicinity, which has polluted the environment and affected cultivation.

Embroidery

There are large number of women who do Kantha, Zari and other types of hand embroidery work at  Barasat-I, Basirhat-II and Deganga blocks of North 24 Parganas. However unlike the Kantha embroiders of Birbhum, quality is not of very high standard. 

 



Networking and Linkages Established

We have mobilized various stakeholders like fair trade organizations, retailers, associations of industries to partner with rural producers. Design development, workshops and visits to various markets and cultural fairs have led to improved awareness and exposure of market trends.

MOU partners
SASHA, Weavers Studio Centre for Arts, Project Sukanya, Marwari Traders-Udaipur, D K Enterprise

New partners
Caljute, Industree, Artisana, Fab India- SRC, Ballyfab, Metallogic, HSBC, Deutsche Bank

Technology providers like Weavers Service Centre
Facilitating Partners like SHEFAXIL

District

Hub

Linkage

Purba & Paschim Medinipur

Patachitra

Puja Pandal Decoration 2008, Selling of Patachitra at different places during Pujas, selling wares by attending 10 fairs in West Bengal, linkage with SASHA, different exhibitions, workshop etc.

North 24 Parganas

Pottery

Linked to decorator house in Udaipur (Rajasthan), Sukanya, SASHA.

Birbhum

Leather & Kantha Stitch

Sukanya and SASHA for retailing leather products and Sukanya Weavers Studio retailing for Kantha Stitch.

Coochbehar

Jute / Sitalpati

Attended fairs at Kolkata, Malda and Siliguri.Linked to Bally Fabs and Sukanya for jute products and SASHA for Sitalpati.

Purulia

Tassar / Incense Sticks

Linked to Weavers Studio, Fab India and Industree for Tasar in Kolkata and with dealers in South India for Incense Sticks.


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