Since I’ve come back, I’ve been inspired to put into action what I learned from the Networked Nonprofit in Jaipur. This is not an easy task, considering that Jaipur is pretty technologically prehistoric. Nonetheless, I have had a fun time trying to put all of the scattered pieces together…
As I posted last week, I organized #SocialGood Day. It was great to see all the enthusiasm, and it was a really encouraging start to the Netsquared Jaipur chapter. Since the global 350.org event is happening on 10/10/10, it was a push to start getting ourselves organized.
So I went to Jaipur Rugs Company and Foundation on Monday, to learn more about their work and coordinate the event: tree planting and technical help that our Netsquared group will offer. I had a wonderful experience there and stayed for several hours. Kavita Chaudhary, Head of R&D, showed me all around.
I was not only impressed by their cutting edge designs for some big buyers in the US & abroad, but in their commitment to sustainable business. They have a number of eco-friendly rugs using jute & hemp, and are innovating new ways to use the waste from not only their products, but even tools used in the production process. (They create large printed, laminated versions of the rugs for the weavers, which they are trying to re-use in different ways).
The commitment to sustainability goes further, though. Four years ago they started the Foundation to ensure that their 40,000+ weavers benefit from the employment. Here’s more info from a recent article, “Reviving the swadeshi looms“:
Artisans Forum which is being created by the Jaipur Rugs Foundation (a top name in the carpet industry) and the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (Irma). The purpose is to create an entrepreneur out of every artisan, giving him the dignity he deserves and not forcing him to migrate to cities for low-skill jobs.
The model involves taking weavers from households to a neighbouring production centre which doubles their earnings. About 300 production centres are then aggregated under a common facility centre, located within 25 km, according to Jaipur Rugs Founder and Managing Director N K Chaudhury. The common facility centres, where all the dyeing and other supplementary work gets done, will be aggregated under Artisans Forum. The first common facility centre has already come up in Alwar.
Jaipur Rugs has been following this model among the 40,000 weavers who have been supplying products to it in the last three decades, and has seen their earnings go up. Jaipur Rugs Foundation recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Irma to take this model to carpet weavers across the country and, gradually, to other crafts as well.
Will share more about the event as it happens! Are you planning to attend a local 10/10/10 event?