We want to empower at least 80 seamstresses from villages in rural Rajasthan to market their handicrafts more effectively by improving quality and increasing efficiency. We also plan to reach a further 80 -100 seamstresses over the coming year. By 2020 we want to establish a women led and owned textile production cooperative.
This is a livelihood project in Tijara, Rajasthan for village women with few opportunities for income to pay for schooling and family health care as well as other family needs. The population is 70% Meos (a form of Islam), 20% Hindus, and 10% resettled Sikhs. The area is known as a difficult place to work. The Meo community in particular disadvantages women by giving them few choices about their way of living. It has already increased their status but must be more sustainable long term.
Already we have trained 200 women in textile production so they can earn independent income, have improved their status and can make individual choices about actions. About 80 are now organised in 8 well equipped production centres but more equipment is needed for speedier production. Now we want to upgrade their skills and understanding of business needs, sustainability and marketing so they are ready to contribute to a new, more streamlined and effective approach to textile production.
In 5 years' time, we want to have a long term profitable social enterprise in place, which raises regular income for the women through the production of high-quality textile items that can be sold profitably in Indian and foreign markets. At least 500 women will benefit from this company directly, with more than 10,000 indirectly though the influence of these women on their families and communities.