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Crafts training for tribal women

Focus: Women , Arts and Culture , Livelihoods

101% Funded
UNABLE to live off agriculture alone in drought-prone Purulia, tribal women have turned to hard labour. Help Daricha train them in handicraft livelihood skills using natural materials from their habitat.

With their arid land yielding little to eat and the lack of other income options, many Santal women have been forced out of their homes and into heavy manual jobs earning less than minimum wage.

Receiving livelihood training in skills such as making ornaments from locally sourced natural fibres will enable them to sell their creations at fairs and markets for a profit and, as their business grows, take their products to cities.

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Fundraiser Timeline

Support this Fundraiser so 20 Santal women can receive livelihood training.

This Fundraiser has been extended so we can help Daricha Foundation reach closer to their goal!

What a success! This Fundraiser has achieved its target - enough to provide livelihood training to 20 Santal women.

Check out the Impact Update for more details!


For centuries tribal communities of West Bengal have been using grasses to weave baskets and mats. Inspired by this tradition, students at Santiniketan began crafting jewellery with seeds and grass. A few years ago Santal artists in Birbhum picked up on this trend and made products out of palm leaf and natural fibre to sell at fairs. Teaching these skills to women in Purulia whose habitat is rich in plant life should also result in such outcomes.

Skills training will provide the women in Purulia a new source of livelihood.

Unlike their counterparts in Birbhum, Santal women in Purulia are economically far more backward. In a region often devoid of rain and unable to survive on cultivation alone, women are often found doing hard labour like grinding coal in factories or unloading coal from boats on the Damodar river, most earning less than the minimum wage. Skills training in making ornaments out of local natural fibre would open up alternative sources of income.

Many agricultural and pastoral communities depend on their traditional craft skills as an essential source of income in times of drought, lean harvests, floods or famine.

Noella Richard, Handicrafts and Employment Generation for the Poorest Youth and Women, 2007

Crafts take their roots in age-old traditions which are renewed by each generation...Craftspeople do not simply conserve cultural heritage but also enrich and adapt this heritage for the contemporary needs of societies.

UNESCO, 2006

The funds raised will go towards stipends for trainers and students, their food and accommodation, training materials, travel and documentation costs. Two artists from Birbhum, Chhobi Besra and Bijoli Mandi will travel to Purulia to conduct the seven-day workshop for 20 Santal women @ around ₹10,000 each. The workshop will include learning how to source raw materials, clean and prepare them, and design and craft into finished ornaments.

Trainees will not only learn to craft the ornaments, but to source and clean the materials, too.
40 women receive crafts training
by Daricha Foundation
02 Nov. 2018

We are happy to report that we raised ₹2,01,851 in order to provide crafts training for the Santal women of Purulia to provide them with alternative livelihood opportunities. 

40 women in two villages were selected to receive training from two master trainers from 5th September to 17th September 2018. The women attended the workshop everyday and left with new skills and an eagerness to create and sell ornaments made from natural fibres. 

The funds went towards transport, lodging, food, raw materials, trainer fees etc., and will also cover the costs of a video and follow-up trip.