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SOCIAL & WELFARE ENHANCEMENT

Asha Resource Centre (ARC)is Asha Handicrafts’

 

Arm for social reform. At ARC, out main objective is to ensure profits earned from the sale of handicrafts are put to  use fogoodr the upliftment of artisans. We do this through Capacity Building of Suppliers, Fair Trade Monitoring, Fair Trade Awareness Campaigns & various community welfare projects within our artisan communities. Our welfare workers, who work on site, organize and manage all our community projects. This allows for tailor-made projects to meet the needs of the local artisan community. We are proud to showcase our efforts over the year below.

World Fair Trade Day - 14th May, 2016

Special events, named "Join Hands for Fair Trade" were organized at Mumbai, Agra, Saharanpur, Bophal, Moradabad, & Jaipur with more than 300 artisans participating.Artisan communities' in Agra &Bhopalplanted75 saplings in designated areas in & around the community with an estimated cost of US $ 262 across events.

Going the Distance for Fair Trade - Mumbai Marathon 2017

On 15th January 2017, Asha Handicrafts participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and gain direct exposure to, a Mumbai Marathon record breaking, 40,285 registered participants, across categories and thousands of onlookers who had come to cheer on the participants. A total of US $1,169 was invested into this undertaking

Producer Development

ARC has introduced various initiatives to develop our producers & the artisans they support. These initiatives include the Assistance for Raw Material Supply -ARMS initiative, the Producer Assistance for Improved Deliveries -PAID initiative and the Producer Improvement & Empowerment – PIE initiative

Aarif Ansari of AR ART & EXPORTS, under the PAID initiative,was sanctioned a soft loan of US $3,100. This Assistance will enable him to set up his own workshop with new machinery & tools, increasing his production capacity.
Satish Dhiman of Shubham Wood Works was provided with a colour printer, worth US $115 under the PIEinitiative. This will help him to better review & comprehend designs he receives from Asha Handicrafts’ in-house design team.

Workplace Safety was improved at 25 primary producers by providing exhaust fans, fire extinguishers, CFL bulbs and restocking their first aid boxes. Kamal Hari Apparel, under this improvement scheme, received restoration work at their tailoring unit, worth US $954, with improvements to electrical wiring, fans, fire extinguishers, and restocking his first aid box.

ARMS Initiative

Under this initiative, soft loans are provided to producers to purchase raw material in advance, to either have the raw material in stock and better fulfill delivery commitments or to have the adequate amount of time to prepare it for production. Eg: Seasoning wood prior to production.

Satish Anand of Crafts & Craft Centre received a soft loan of US $4,650

LaljiofJangid Handicrafts received a soft loan of

US $2,300

MukeshKhandelwal of Handicrafts House received a soft loan of US $1,550

RakeshofRakesh Handprints received a soft loan of US $2,300

Producer Training

 

STEP – Sustainable Trade & Empowering Producers through Training

20 Producer groupsfrom Saharanpur & Moradabad participated in the training & were exposed to the below topics, by subject matter experts from our staff.A well worth investment of US $1,077 was made for our producers’ development.

Design, Product Development

Ms. Amruta Sawant

(Executive –Designer)

%

 Production Planning

Mr. Rajesh Salaskar

(Asst Mgr Exports)

Success Is Having A Successor

Mr. Immanuel Bundellu

(GM – Fair Trade)

Fair Trade: WFTO Guarantee System  Workshop

Producer Training was organized in Jaipur on 22nd June’2016 on Fair Trade: WFTO Guarantee System, with an investment of US $800. The training was conducted by Mr Allan Almeida, Asst. Manager Fair Trade. A Special talk on Integrity by our resource person Paul Raj was also conducted. A total of 13 producer heads participated in this training from Jaipur, Jodhpur & Agra.

Cash Flow ManagementTraining

A training on cash flow manangement was conducted at Asha Handicrafts’ office at Mumbai, by Ms Reena Sen, a resource person from the International Resources for Fairer Trade. With an investment of US $1,923, twenty producers from our main centres of craft, as well as from Mumbai and eight producers recommended by IRFT benefitted fromthe workshop.

Artisan Training

A Workshop on Family Budgeting was successfully conducted at our producer Shravan Handlooms at Kothawada, Warangal, with anexpenditure of US $415. A total of 45 participants attended this program. Solutions are given in the form of Insurances, Saving money in Banks, Taking risks, investing money in mutual funds. Opening an account in Prime Minister Jan DhanYojana and its advantages such as free accident insurance, loans at easy interest was explained along with other government schemes about life insurance.

Tailoring Classes

Fifteen women, of the age group 16-22, belonging to our micro credit project at Van Vihar, Jaipur attended the training. MsAshma Ansari, an experienced seamstress, who owns a boutique and has been teaching tailoring for 35 years, taught the trainees how to sew women’s clothing.With a small investment of US $154, this training has paved the way for these women to start their own businesses, become economically independent & take care of their families.

Artisan Assistance Program

With assistance from El Puente families of 105 artisans, of 8 Producer groups, from states like Maharashtra, Jaipur, Delhi & Uttar Pradesh have received essential utility products like Dinner sets, Mixer/grinders, Gas Stoves, Ceiling / Table Fans, Exhaust Fans,  Lunch Boxes, etc.worth US $6,923.Also a large number of artisans the workshops were renovated. This made our artisans feel appreciated & motivated them.

Fair Trade Premiums

Fair Trade Premiums worth US $615 were paid to 10 Udad Dal farmers from Kolhapur to purchase seeds so that they can prepare to grow the crop the following season, ensuring a continuous supply to Asha Handicrafts.

Improving Living Conditions

Asha Handicrafts have provided Water Filters worth US $462 to 5 women artisans working with our oldest producer, BunderKalamkari House from Pedna village, AP. These filters are a great boon for these women, where the availability of clean drinking water is scarce. They are thankful that Asha is looking out for the wellbeing of their families.

Assistance Educational Program:

Disbursement of Educational Assistance 2016

Sr. No.

Centre

No. of. Producers

No. of artisans

No. Of  Children

Total Grant in US $

1

Jaipur

7

23

23

770

3

Moradabad

6

25

25

970

4

Agra

4

9

9

370

5

Delhi

3

7

8

290

6

Mumbai

2

11

14

550

7

Pedena

1

1

1

150

Ancillary Social Health Activity (ASHA)

at Saharanpur provides Primary Health Services to artisan's families and the community in general.  Since Feb2016, the centre has provided medical consultation & assistance to about 500 artisans, their families & members of the community, with an expenditure of US $3,077.

Margub has received free, fast-aid training from the Medical centre & is certified to handle the primary care of any minor workplace injuries. He is happy that he receives the same treatment from the medical centre free of cost and doesn’t have to pay the doctor a consultation fee or pay for medicines and other tests. Tubsum belongs to a poor family and as such, it is very difficult for her to travel outside the village, to the nearby hospital for a medical check-up. The facility provided by Asha’s Primary Medical Healthcare Centre is a very big saving for her. She receives all the medical help she needs without having to pay a huge amount at the local hospital.
Medical camps & Health Awareness Programs were organized in Jaipur, Sharanpur& Moradabad to allow artisans and their familiesaccess to free medical advice, health examinations & medicines with a cost of US $538. 40 artisans and their families availed the service at Jaipur, while at Sharanpur& Moradabad, a total of 70 artisans & their families came for the free health check-ups.
The E-Academy  was setup to provide digital education to the poorer section of society. The project is involved with imparting education & training related to the use of various software like MS Office, Tally, Photoshop, etc. free of charge to the community with an investment of US $1,385. The project currently has 27  students enrolled, out of which, 16 students are girls.

Sonam Rajput has successfully completed courses in MS Office, Corel Draw & Adobe Photoshop. With the knowledge she learnt from E-Academy, Sonam was able to find a job in a private school as a computer teacher. She currently works as a computer teacher with TEARS, an organization that works with mentally challenged individuals and earns enough to take care of her mother & herself.

The Tuition Project helps about 60 to 80 under-privileged children per centre, stay in school & complete their education. A total investment of US $1,231 was made for the continued growth of the project in the last financial year. The children are in the age range of 3 to 14, with 70 - 80% of the students being girls. The teachers teach different subjects to the children according to their age, class & overall progress, including subjects like English, Mathematics, Hindi and General Knowledge, etc. The project also makes sure they have fun while learning with different games twice a week
Aafreen studies in class 4 at a private school & has been growing at the Tuition Project for the last 3 years. She likes skipping very much and likes to teach others to skip Arisha has spent the last 3 years studying with us. Arisha is now in 1st grade. Her family is very poor and cannot afford to send her to a regular school.

WFTO GUARANTEE SYSTEM

Mr RanvirSisodia from Dharohar, a Fair Trade Organisation in Gujarat was appointed by the WFTO to conduct a peer audit in the month of May which included producer visits at different centers and reviewing their compliance of the Fair Trade principles. Ranvir also met with the management team at Asha Handicrafts office & discussed his observations in regards to Fair Trade. An expenditure of US $1,538 was made for the certification. Ranvir submitted his Report to the WFTO and our next WFTO GS Audit has been scheduled for 2018. 

Yearly Artisan Get Together

Recognition of Asha Handicrafts Commitment to Social Change

In recognition & appreciation of Asha Handicrafts contribution towards the education & empowerment of girls & women in Van Vihar, Jaipur, the National Muslim Women Welfare Society, a well known organization, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, presented uswith an award. Our welfare workerMrMahendraKumar accepted  the awardon  Asha’sbehalf.