Communities flourish thanks to bamboo in India
AWARD (Action for Women and Rural Development) is stands as a beacon of change, advocating for indigenous communities and empowering women in need in India. Their remarkable journey of community empowerment began with a transformative experience at the Change the Game Academy, where they undertook the Local Fundraising training course.
Following the online training in the end of 2021, AWARD organized a fundraiser in their region. The outcome was nothing short of extraordinary – they raised 125,000 rupees (approximately 1,700 euros). With this funding, AWARD initiated bamboo crafts training programs in 15 tribal villages, teaching young people and women the art of crafting baskets from bamboo.
“The impact was tangible and immediate. The baskets created in these villages were sold at a local state fair, Mhasa, in January 2023, generating an income of 50,000 rupees (€664). The artisans wisely invested a portion of this amount in purchasing bamboo rhizomes, cultivating a sustainable source of income within their villages. Thus, a small step was taken to give people more independence. Money left over was distributed to the participants” recount Manjusha Khedkar, Project Associate at AWARD.
And more good examples are to follow. Inspired by AWARD’s endeavors, another community-based organization in India organised its own Local Fundraising event. Through an exhibition and sale of wild vegetables and fruits, they raised 7,000 rupees (93 euros), empowering tribal women in two villages to claim their rights to homestead a piece of land.
This chain reaction underscores the potential of community-driven initiatives, demonstrating the power of grassroots efforts for positive change. It highlights how one successful endeavor can inspire and ignite a series of transformative actions within a community.
AWARD’s vision extends beyond immediate success. They aim to establish local enterprises for tribal women, providing financial independence and opportunities for skill development. Some exciting ideas include ventures in natural colors from flowers, bamboo crafts, vegetable cultivation, turmeric powder processing, leaf plates and bowls, seed banks, vermicompost, food and millet processing units, poultry and goat rearing, as well as the collection and sale of gums and resins.
In the spirit of Change the Game Academy, AWARD’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of grassroots initiatives. It showcases that with the right knowledge, commitment, and community engagement, small steps can lead to significant, positive changes, creating a brighter future for all.