Raah Foundation’s core focus is on providing skills that can be used to pursue sustainable income generation opportunities. While Raah Foundation works on providing the skills and honing the intrinsic skills, Raah Impact Ventures works with these artisans on designing beautiful niche products and branding, marketing and selling these products.
Raah Foundation also works on other social problems that impede livelihoods such as water, health, etc. During the months of January to June women spend nearly half their day fetching water as the nearby sources dry up and they have to travel long distances which does not allow enough time for them to pursue livelihood opportunities. Similarly, almost all women in Jawhar are anaemic and have serious health issues which needs lot of interventions.
The indigenous art form of the Warli tribe living along the mountains and valleys of the Sahyadris, Warli art has become extremely popular in urban areas. Unfortunately, it is being screen-printed on clothes, bags, bedsheets, etc., ignoring the original tribal artists to whom this art form rightfully belongs. The artists have remained so impoverished that most of them have abandoned their artistic roots and have taken up other professions. It was important to not only protect the artisans but also to put the art form back into their hands.
Raah Foundation’s “World of Warli” is a unique program which not only traces artists who have abandoned the art form but more importantly encourages the younger generation to view Warli art as a viable profession.
Our intervention includes designing marketable designer products, skilling & upskilling to make these products, as well as supporting marketing and sales of these products.
Harvard Business School and Tata Trusve has recognised Raah Foundation as one of the most promising rural livelihood programs in the Indian handicraft sector from among over 600 organisations. Going forward they have also given Raah Foundation a Social innovation Grant for this program.
Today Namdev earns an honourable life making products and painting them in beautiful Warli style.
The women of Warli while being extremely creative have hardly any livelihood or income generation opportunities available locally. Poverty and extreme poverty is rampant and it was important to provide these dynamic women with skills which can then be used to create marketable products.
- Raah Foundation chose three skills –
- Tailoring, Stitching & Patchwork training
- Embroidery Skills
- Fabric Painting Skills
Raah Foundation has a small intervention with the Bhoja Kesha tribal community who live near Bhuj in Kutch. These tribals had migrated to Mumbai in search of livelihoods when Raah Foundation met them. They were amazing in leather art but were struggling because they could not understand the market and create marketable products. They have migrated back to their villages and work with us on creating products such as tablet covers, bags, wallets and many other products using their intrinsic skill of leather art.