Mitigating Climate Change and Providing Livelihood Opportunities to Rural Women of Uttarakhand

Providing solutions to climate change and unemployment

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name


Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • India

Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)

When was your organisation founded?


Focus areas

  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $50k - $100k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

Bhartiya Gramotthan Sanstha was founded on 23rd Dec, 1989 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The name of the organization signifies “Organisation meant for Development of Indian Villages”. He was employee in Khadi and Village Industries Commission from 1963 to 1988 where he looked after Production cum Income Generation Activities of the Department. In 1988, he took voluntary retirement from Khadi Commission to start his lifelong aim of providing self employment opportunities to the rural women of Uttarakhand.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

The men in the villages of the region have moved to cities outside the state for employment. In majority of the villages the women, children and elderly people are left alone.The women have to take care of the children and elderly members in the house apart from household chores.Money is required for everything from education to health or food etc., but the beneficiaries specially women of this area have limited source of income.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

BGS has organized the women of this area into self help groups (SHGs) and is providing them local fibre based handicraft training. The local fibre includes bheemal (Optiva Grewia), local wool and nettle fiber which is available abundantly in the forests nearby.The women have been taught to make slippers, curtains, footmat, tablemat, jute bags, shopping bags, file folders, different types of mats and other utility products and other handicraft products out of these local and natural fibers. There are thousands of sheep rearers in the high altitude area of Uttarakhand. Previously they did not have the facility of processing the wool obtained from the sheeps. The only option left with them was to sell the wool to the wool traders.BGS provides facility of Carding, Gilling, Spinning, Twisting, weaving and finishing of woolen products to the artisans, traders and manufacturer of woolen products.The women beneficiaries are employed to make woolen yarn and weaving shawls, sweaters and other woolen products.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

BGS has organised the beneficiaries into Self Help Groups(SHGs). These SHGs have been credit linked with the banks. The members of the SHGs regularly meet once or twice every month and save 100/-per member every month. They provide loan to the group members on their demand. These SHG members are provided training in making handicraft by BGS. These training are demand driven. Thus the members who avail the training are engaged in production of handicraft and earn 3000-4000 every month.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

BGS provides training on making handicraft out of locally available raw material. Many women beneficiaries who have taken training are engaged in production of handicraft and selling the same to local market as well.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

The focus is on providing training in handicraft making out of locally available raw material which include bheemal (Optiva Grewia) fibre, Uttarakhand sheep wool, nettle fibre, hemp and similar other allied fibres. The beneficiaries who avail the training start production of handicrafts and their income raises by 30%-50%. They are also provided with soft skill training.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

After being a member of the SHGs the beneficiaries learn the importance of earning and saving. They are given knowledge on book keeping and calculations. BGS wishes to organize these beneficiaries into producer organization so as to make them independent in procuring raw material, making handicraft and marketing the handicraft at different platforms.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

Once the training is availed by the beneficiaries, they start production of handicraft and thus their income raises up to 30%-50%. The progress is clearly measurable. These beneficiaries can register themselves as entrepreneurs and earn handsome income for their families.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

BGS has focus on providing employment opportunities to empty hands through use of local resources. It has expertise in making handicrafts and providing training and marketing component . There are some other organizations too but our approach is different from theirs. BGS has its own set up to provide the training and market the products at the same time.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Almost 20-30 women beneficiaries come every day to the production unit of BGS and make handicrafts. Some of the beneficiaries who can not come to the organization, purchase the raw material and take it to their home and make handicraft and sell it back to BGS. These beneficiaries earn about 3000-6000 per month.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Short Term: BGS will provide both hard as well soft skills necessary for entrepreneurship and production. Middle Term: Formation of SHGs and then into producer organizations. Long Term: Setting up Institutional Base model for the producers and providing marketing platform and exposure to other similar organizations.

10. Team

Gita Chandola, President, M.Sc., M.Ed.;N.P.Khuksal,Manager B.A; Vijay Gupta, B.Com, Accountant; Mr. Anil, M.Com., In-charge, Mrs. Beena Pundir, Trainer, Gulam Hasan, Trainer, Ms. Mionika, B.Com, Data Entry Operator, All the above are responsible to carry out the project successfully.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


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