Indha – A Social Enterprise
Providing livelihood opportunities to local artisans
In 2005 Literacy India started providing employment opportunities to Karigari trainees. With a small group of 10 artisans, project Indha gave shape to the social enterprise model, through which the identified beneficiaries were trained. Project Karigari laid the foundation for project Indha.Literacy India runs Indha with two broad purposes:
- identifies the local level artisan, develops skills
- tries to create an enabling environment for livelihood opportunities for women
Indha is now becoming a self-sustaining brand, which in turn sustains the skills development project of Karigari. Women, most of them trained under Karigari, sell their own handcrafted products. Indha products have become quite popular among many donors and can also be found on the shelves of OMO and Bombay Store in Mumbai, Instore in Noida, Killol, Tupperware and Discount Circuit, among others. Apart from this, these products are regularly exhibited at MNCs like American Express, Dell and IBM. We also hold various fairs in flea markets at Select City Walk, Saket, Akshay Prathishtan Mela and a few embassies.
To enter the market, multiple rounds of market research were conducted to understand demand. Feedback from the market was collected, which was then incorporated into a special training under Karigari. Though there was adequate market space available for handmade traditional products, it was important to ensure that the products were of high quality with modern designs. To ensure that, both Karigari and Indha worked together to create market-friendly products we held special training sessions with designer inputs and pilot runs. Indha programmes follows ICE (Investing, Capacitating and Enablement) model. Through this model, Indha plans to create a pragmatic, risk free business for rural and semi urban artisans.Rigorous market survey, consultation with design experts and advice from marketing professionals laid the foundation of each product and led to understanding of customer demands. The product journey includes:
- One product – One woman: Each product is created by an artisan whose story is identified and a connection is drawn to the product
- Genuine handmade: Direct artisan-to-customer link
- Quality Assurance: In house chain – from training, to design selection, to production
- Early child marriages have reduced, and children now finish their secondary education.
- Currently, 17 centres have 650 women working in them. Four have even started their own self-help groups, which has started a savings scheme for the community.
- Approximately 250 artisans benefit each month under income generation programme.
- 2,678 women benefitted under the project in 2019.
- Rs 29,19,932 as income distributed to artisans across regions.
- Various products, new designs were created, and training was imparted to artisans to be at par with the market.
- 13 women resource center activity provided work across regions.
- 358 designs developed and 321 were trained for these designs.
- 75% women started earning for the first time after joining Indha.
- A trip was organised from Delhi to Shirdi where 65 women artisans from all centers participated. This trip was supported by Air India and Dell, India.