Livelihoods

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LIVELIHOODS

Objective of the Vertical

Revive the lost art of terracotta and realise its commercial potential by adapting it as a sustainable means of livelihood. Involve local potters and all interested community members so that they learn new skills in future. Revive Khadi in our communities through women, creating many livelihood opportunities by involving women in weaving, spinning fabric, dyeing and stitching of the finished product. Encouraging women at the local level to create a niche relationship with stakeholders at the National and International level. Create opportunities through local means and resources. Coordinate and collaborate with national and international agencies and develop – a harmonious interpersonal relationship in favour of the rural communities Parivartan seeks to look forward.

Challenges in the Sector

Millions of Indians still depend on indigenous modes of production, traditional skills and techniques to make a living based on handmade products.

Though several well-known design houses have made remarkable work using handmade products, yet the majority of craft production remains unorganized and informal especially by the artisans, who struggle to make their ends meet. Propelled by loss of markets, declining skills and difficulty catering to new markets, a large number of artisans have moved to urban centers in search of employment.

According to the United Nations, the number of Indian artisans has decreased by 30% over the past 30 years. This indicates the need to re-invest in artisans to safeguard history, culture and an important source of livelihood. The Indian Government, the private sector and the nonprofits are each involved in the sector. However, their roles have not evolved over the time with lack of specialization and much duplication. A cohesive and concerted effort is required to overcome the challenges faced by the crafts ecosystem through funding and programs.

Program Details

Parivartan is determined to create livelihood opportunities for the community by encouraging them to join the weaving and stitching units and revive local crafts. In doing so, we try to enable them to generate self-employment to improve their economic condition. We along with the community are making efforts to help in the conservation of the rapidly disappearing weaving traditions of the area and gradually build a creative society which engages in a complete production process.

Collaborations

We are collaborating with organizations like National Institute of Design, Shantiniketan, Sewagram, Cora, Eco Tussar Silk and Trimurti Enterprises to emulate and adopt the best practices in our unit. We hope to train men and women with exemplary skills that helps them generate their livelihood in a self-sufficient manner.

In the past we have also collaborated with Srijani Foundation.

Case Story

Jamalhata is popularly known as the village of weavers. Many weavers live in this village. Years ago, every day a truck used to take clothes weaved from this village that was sent to other parts of the country. Every family was dependent on weaving as a source of livelihood. However with the advent of globalisation and the non-payment of wages  together with the competition posed by the   power looms,  this work completely came to an end.
This created a crisis in the lives of young people to search for new opportunities aboard and they eventually migrated to these countries. Weaving came to an end by 1995 and the ones who stayed back were trying very hard to sustain themselves. This is a story of a weaver of this period which is as it follows:

Born in the weavers’ family, Nausad Ansari studied only up to class 10. Due to the environment in his village, he could not muster the courage to take the annual examination. Growing up in a family where there were many mouths to feed, Nausad had to take up  family responsibilities at an early age. He started supporting his father in weaving work  from the age of 8. However, it was very difficult for them to meet bare necessities. Eventually, this work completely halted in the year 1995. Seeing such circumstances, Naushad had to travel overseas in search  of  livelihood opportunities. As he was born in a weaver’s family, he was only adept with weaving skills. However, in this foreign land he had to take some other job due to lack of livelihood opportunities in the field of weaving. Naushad used to paint different houses and meet his ends. He used to earn 10 to 12 thousand per month and  would send this money back home to  India for his family. During his stay in a different country, Naushad was always tensed about his family. However, due to distance, he was unable to do anything about it. He spent months without talking to his family due to lack of phone services.

For several days, he had to work in very difficult situations, even when he was unwell. Naushad missed his family a lot during festivals and important occasions. He got married in the year 2001. Nausad did not want to go to this country again after marriage. Facing such problems overseas, he came to India and started working as a plumber in Pune. In Pune as well, he was not making enough money that he could go back home. He then set up a plastic goods shop in Gopalpur, a market near village Jamalhata. However, the shop did not make much profit. By this time Parivartan had started working in Jamalahta. Having skills in weaving, Naushad always had an urge to be a part of this work started by Parivartan, but lacked confidence and had very  little trust on the organisation. However, as his shop was arunning at loss, Naushad finally made up his mind to be a part of Parivartan.

At first, to enhance his weaving skills, Naushad worked in different looms. When he gained his confidence, he wanted to know more about the work at Parivartan. Parivartan wanted to start working and reviving these looms. As he started working at his own pace, he  set up the loom at a different place. As it was not well maintained, Naushad did not want people from Parivartan to see this. He eventually  shifted the loom  to his own place. Naushad started taking orders from Parivartan and started making shirts, pants, saris and fabric for farewell. In comparison to other weavers, Naushad was slow but the quality of his work was impeccable. the help of Parivartan, Nausad was earning as much money as he could not earn even while living abroad. Nausad earns 15 to 20 thousand rupees staying back in his village with his family. He is also able to pay attention to his children’s education. Association with Parivartan has brought  a turn around in the life of Naushad and his family. Today Naushad’s father is the Sarpanch of his village because of Naushad’s  dedication towards his work. The people of the village are also associated with his family in large numbers. As many women in his village have shown interest towards this work, he has assured them that if spinning work starts in Jamalhata, then 200 women can benefit from it. It has been noticed that Naushad’s association with Parivartan members, is welcomed by many members of his village. He is very amicable in nature and is very much aware about the conditions of his village. Naushad opines that his family would have been shattered if they would not have gotten any help from Parivartan at that time. He feels that Parivartan is an organization that recognises and respects the work of weavers and local artisans.