The situation of many tribal families in rural areas is critical. One of the main issues is malnutrition – due to qualitative poor food and a critical income. To empower families and this also nutrition on to all sustainable income sources and micro- enterprises are needed.
In the last days I learned about a NGO who has set up just two months ago an umbrella making unit for 40 tribal mothers. The first umbrellas have been produced and sold in a small pilot project some time ago. Some investors from the Gulf countries had given them ca. 700 000 INR (1000 EUR) to try.
Start small, grow big!
“With this money a few people got trained on how to assemble the umbrellas, bought the raw materials and produced the umbrellas at home in the villages”, explains the coordinator.
In the meantime this money has been paid back. The demand is there. It’s still a seasonal business, but there are already more ideas on how to give more work to the women, even in the dry season.
In the general industry woman earn around 5 rupees per umbrella, the NGO can offer 50 rupees (ca 70 cents) per umbrella as their scope is not profit – oriented, but the main scope us to empower the mothers and thus the daily nutrition of the families. However, the NGO “gains” 50 INR which they invest to pay back loans and to build up further the umbrella micro-enterprise.
The women produce ca 10 umbrellas a day with eight pre-fabricated items. Now a storage room has been given to them by the local government …
In a next months there will be a lot of work coming up. Monsoon session is starting. In the meanwhile the coordinator is in contact with Indian companies. A few have ordered umbrellas for their employees.
We are running here a lot of activities under the Making More Health Initiative and we have started to discuss on how to make the branding and marketing even better for Karthumbi. Because health is not just education and awareness building, but also about financial empowerment through microenterprises.
By the way: Karthumbi is the branding name of this initiative. It goes back to the first youth clubs the NGO has built and means Dragon fly. Dragon flies appear when it rains. So, lets hope to have more dragon flies around!
What about your company? If you are interested to order some umbrellas, please contact. Your contribution will be very helpful to all.