Uplifiting the Old Roots of Rural India for Greener Leaves - Sri Sri Rural Development Program



Sri Sri Rural Development Program


What we do ?


The primary products made by the SSRDP are bags and incense sticks. The program is aimed at empowering women by teaching them job skills and providing additional household income. Job skills include training in bag stitching, designing, bead work, embroidery, making incense sticks, banking, and business skills.

The SSRDP uplifts the entire family, and teaches women and children how to do for themselves. The women receive health insurance, regular check ups, and are educated on hygiene. They also benefit from breathing and meditation camps. The SSRDP provides free education to their children, who would otherwise have no access to school.

Environmental sustainability is a key initiative of the SSRDP and the Art Of Living. The fabrics and dyes used to make the bags are eco-friendly. Jute is the primary fiber used, because it is the cheapest, strongest natural fiber and is bio-degradable. SSRDP is promoting jute and other natural fibers to replace the use of plastic. The bag designs reflect the ‘artistic’ culture of a ‘green’ India.

The SSRDP has also been training rural youth (18-30 years age group) since over a year in core competencies like dairy and organic agriculture, post harvest management, food processing, computer skills, plumbing, electrical repairs, welding and fabrication, civil construction, motor mechanics, carpentry and fiber industry. These skills are essential for employment in rural areas and small towns.

Statistics:

SSRDP has trained more than 700 by 2007, of which 297 women have grown into entrepreneurs with their own businesses. The women can make 8 -15 jute bags or 5000 - 7000 incense sticks a day; their earnings are sufficient to sustain their household. Additional incentives are provided for improving quality and quantity.



Vision for the Future

Reach into every corner of rural India

Exploring options beyond Jute and Incense Sticks, because each area has unique artistic crafts, e.g. bamboo products in Kerala, mats and cotton from Tamil Nadu, Tassar painting of Orissa

Proposed projects to recycle waste and provide employment

Create a single platform to sell goods from around India where the revenues go directly to the craftsmen and sustain the SSRDP. This eliminates the need for middlemen who often pay very little to the craftsmen.

Global distribution of bags and incense sticks.

How YOU CAN get involved

¨ Funding

¨ We invite businesses to sell the bags, or join SSRDP in partnership

¨ Professionals to donate expertise and time

¨ Buy the products…let people know!

We would love to hear from you:

sharmila@artofliving.org

Visit us at: www.artofliving.org/Initiatives/Community/RuralDevelopment/tabid/86/Default.aspx

1 comments:

Alan Roberta said...

Great stuff...........