Photo credit: Nilam Patil
Aide et Action is offering a program in four states of India to enable entrepreneurs and companies in the bamboo sector to develop their business in a sustainable manner. Here is a look at two women who work with bamboo, a fast-growing ecological material.
Vinita Gorkhe has always dreamed of becoming a businesswoman. It is not unusual to have such dreams, but Vinita belongs to a marginalised caste family in a remote village, Bhoura, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. With limited access to resources and gaps in certain skills, Vinita had very little chance of seeing her dream come true. Her monthly income as a bamboo craftswoman was very low, around Rs 3,500 (about '42).
She attended a 10-day advanced training course organized by Aide et Action on bamboo making and marketing. To overcome the difficulties in obtaining institutional credit due to lack of collateral, Aide et Action encouraged Vinita and other women in the village to form a collective. The association then helped them to apply for a government financial assistance programme to promote women's entrepreneurship. Under this programme, the collective obtained a loan of 250,000 rupees (just over '3,000) from the State Bank of India.
Vinita then expanded her production base and now markets her products directly to large traders and buyers in several markets in her village, but also within a 40 km radius. His monthly income is now Rs. 9,500. Despite his As a single mother, Vinita is able to provide a quality education for her 10-year-old daughter and has gained confidence, which helps her in decision-making at home and in her business.
Bamboo, a very ecological material
During the last three years of the project "Promoting bamboo-based micro, small and medium enterprises clusters for sustainable development", Aide et Action has helped 844 artisans, including 702 women, in the 4 states of intervention, to set up their enterprises. These enterprises have provided employment to 2,268 people.