Livelihood Promotion of Marginalised Slum Women

by Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society
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Livelihood Promotion of Marginalised Slum Women
Livelihood Promotion of Marginalised Slum Women
Livelihood Promotion of Marginalised Slum Women
Mrs. Suhrban busy with her Thattukada
Mrs. Suhrban busy with her Thattukada

Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu provides financial support for women living in the Karimadom slum with the support of donations from GlobalGiving and other local funders. We enhanced our helping hand, many of the women are used the opportunity and built their new life. Many of them started small scale businesses like Nadan Thattukada and run them successfully. Now the women earned a decent income and meet their needs and want, now they can become independent from their debts and live a happy life. Last month we visited one of our successful vendor's shops (Thattukada). She was abounded by her husband. With our support and motivation, she started the initiative and earn income from it. She said- now I can buy anything that I want, I have become more strong, I am able to provide education to my son which is discontinued because of financial problems.

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women acquiring training for paper pouches
women acquiring training for paper pouches

Women from the slum area of Trivandrum has been receiving several skill based training for finding their source of income since pre pandemic period. They have been trained for manufacturing cloth bags, paper bags and also had introduced customised paper bag with the training in screen printing. The products of the women were creating a revolution in market as they introduced high quality commodities under low price tags.

Since the outbreak of pandemic the marketing style across the market has evolved and parcelling services popped up due to the restrictions of government as part of Covid control protocols. There was a huge demand in parcelling covers from the side of restaurants and other take away counters where the people demanded food parcels because they were not allowed to sit at hotel for dining. The women had utilised this evolution as an opportunity with the help of Don Bosco Veedu Society. They came up with the new innovation of paper pouches in different size. Don Bosco Veedu Society has introduced the women from the slum area to paper pouched which can be manufactured in low cost compared to paper bags and cloth bags and can be used as food parcel pouched.

One day training session for women was organised by Don Bosco Veedu Society which was conducted in two batches due to the pandemic protocols. The session provided training for women in manufacturing paper pouches of size – Small, Medium Large. Small and medium sized paper pouches were aimed for parcelling food items whereas the large sized paper pouched targeted the textile shops which were running short of packing covers.

The pouches they manufactured were from high strength papers and as part of goodwill maintaining extra papers were used for creating a strong base area for the pouches so that the chances of tearing of paper pouches due to weight could be avoided.

The products were introduced to markets as soon as the training completed and women started manufacturing the pouches in large quantity. The production of pouches were pacing up since the manufacturing effort is low compared to paper bags and cloth bags which made the women capture the markets with their innovative product. The materials for the production and the training session expenses were met by mobilising the fund gathered from the GlobalGiving platform where the donors had helped the women in building a consistent income generating source.

small, medium and large sized paper pouches
small, medium and large sized paper pouches
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Nutrition kits for the women
Nutrition kits for the women

India is currently facing the second wave of pandemic – COVID 19. The people all over Kerala is experiencing the strict lockdown due to the uncontrolled spread of the virus and the government with help of health workers are trying their best for controlling the disease. Due to the lockdown every marketing places has been shut and income generation activities are stopped until further notice. The women dwelling in slum who were engaged in the income generating activities now face an economic down fall because of the restrictions.

Don Bosco Veedu Society is currently supporting these women in the form of nutrition kits and medical kits. We provided around 235 nutrition kits which contained essential pulses and grains and medical kits which consisted of N95 masks, sanitisers, hand washes, mouth washes, vitamin tablets for the women and their families during this crucial situation.

Medical and nutrition kits for the women
Medical and nutrition kits for the women
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As part of “Go Green Eco friendly campaign” by the government of Kerala, the demand for paper bags has hiked in the markets. The women from Karimadom slum who has received the  training for paper bag making and are working under paper bag unit received sufficient orders for varieties of paper bags according to the customer needs. Most proposed type among the paper bag were printed bags.

The rise in demand for printed bags has lead us for organising training programme for 28 women on screen printing. These women are already working under ppaper bag manufacturing unit which was created as a result of paper bag training session which we conducted earlier. A three days training sessions on screen printing was organised for the women under paper bag unit. The programme was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Saji Elambasserril (Director, Don Bosco Veedu Society). The three days training sessions were carried out by Mr. Manjunath Ooruttambalam (Btech in Printing Technology, M.S printers, Trivandrum).

Training Schedule: 

Day 1

An introduction and history of screen printing (theoretical)

What is screen printing, basics of screen printing, Why is screen printing used, the advantages of screen printing in market, different opportunities of screen printing, exaggerated the history of screen printing, introduced the different type of screen printing- hand printing and machine printing, orientation of the inks and how to use it, the handling of printing frames.

Day 2

The process of screen printing and the guide to screen printing equipments. (practical session)

Process- ensure the supplies, preparing the screen, mix the emulsion, spreading emulsion, drying the screen, print the transparency, exposing and checking the screen, clean the screen, prepare to print, ink the image and finish. Manufacturing of homemade mesh and the needing care for the mesh.

Day 3

Manufacturing of screen printing. (practical session)

Participants begin to print the paper with the help of the instructor, understanding the different combination of inks and how designs can be made.

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The pandemic has affected the whole world and has put the human life in peril. The health workers are trying their level best for ensuring safety of lives of people. The women from Karimadom slum has also ensured their participation in safeguarding the lives of people by introducing best quality stitched masks to the market.

Since the pandemic affected the human life seriously, the demand for masks hiked in the markets but then the availability of stitched masks with good quality couldn’t meet the rise in demand for it. In light of the you tube training videos and other professional advices we trained 15 marginalised women who were interested in stitching cloths. They were trained for stitching masks without a compromise in its quality.

The women introduced the masks of two types:

  1. Mask with cloth layers
  2. Mask without cloth layers.

Mask with cloth layers were more efficient and could be re used after proper washing. Mask without cloth layers are one time usable and has to be disposed properly after the use.

We are happy to announce that this initiative which was started as a short term livelihood activity has been sustained till now and is being running successfully without a slight compromise in its quality. The women has introduced around 40,000 masks with cloth layers and 16000 masks without cloth layers in the market during the lockdown period when the supply of masks couldn’t meet the demand for it. The raw materials for the manufacturing of masks were made available only because of the contributions from the donors from GlobalGiving and some of the local donors.

Woman stitching masks.
Woman stitching masks.
with the masks having cloth layers
with the masks having cloth layers
the masks stitched by the women at karimadom slum
the masks stitched by the women at karimadom slum
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Organization Information

Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society

Location: Trivandrum, Kerala - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Fr. Saji SDB
Trivandrum, Kerala India
$850 raised of $30,000 goal
12 donations
$29,150 to go
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