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Dalit Artisans' Empowerment Project

Haldipada village is one of the poorest and isolated dalit artisans' villages in Balasore district of Odisha. Possibilities to reach a stable income level by self-employment are hindered by lack of access to markets and insufficient skills to diversify and develop their products in Haltipada. Absence of basic infrastructure, educational and job opportunities contribute to the cycle of poverty in Haldipada.

Therefore, this project aims to empower women and men, girls and boys in the most vulnerable and marginalized communities to realize their right to adequate standard of living as full and equal members of society in Balasore. The project will contribute to this by strengthening professional skills, economical status and thereby self-esteem of the Dalit community contributing to decreased discrimination.

Duration:

1st of February 2014 – 31st December 2015

Project Area

Haldipada, Balasore, Odisha

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan of the project is to:

  • Organize the artisans in formal groups.
  • Initiate skill development of the SHGs in Entrepreneurship and SHG management.
  • Develop new products and develop designs for both domestic and international market.
  • Literacy and numeracy classes to increase the literacy rate.
  • Create market linkages for craft community.

Project Activities

Based on the learning from the field assessment, a detailed activity plan was charted out in consultation with Tikau Share. We conducted vocational training on bamboo craft to build and strengthen the skills of the artisans. As a part of skill development program, AIACA initiated new product and design development workshop for the community, as the current production is not appropriate for the urban market.

A total 8 Self Help Groups (SHG) were formed and trained in SHG management. Bank accounts were opened for all the eight SHGs so that they can develop the habit of saving.

As we are planning to improve the income level of the community through craft production, it is very important to bring them under one organization and strengthen the capacity of that organization. Keeping this in mind, AIACA conducted three entrepreneurship management training on the concept of SHG, features of a good SHG, benefits of forming a SHG, organizational development and leadership and conflict management. They were also trained on coordination and controlling, to strengthen monitoring of the set tasks and to address deviation if any. Basics of Oriya language and numeracy classes were also conducted for the artisans. 44 artisans participated in the program.