Strength In Numbers Helps JRF Help Weavers
The essential mission of Jaipur Rugs Foundation (JRF) is to work at the grassroots level in rural communities across India. The artisans who we work with create works of art that are given an international audience, thus linking rural weavers with the global community. JRF works toward improving the lives of artisans through two modes of development. Entrepreneurship development focuses on economic well-being of the artisans through skill development and sustainable employment, while social development is concerned with social well-being through interventions and awareness campaigns.
The vision of JRF is to create a society that is equal, just and peaceful by creating socio-economic development opportunities for everyone. This is a goal that almost everyone can agree is important and valuable. As a result, JRF has partnered with domestic government organizations as well as international groups in order to promote and preserve JRF’s goal and further improve the lives of rural artisans living in India. Collaboration with the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) consisted of a skill development program in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. In this program, unskilled villagers were trained in the art of carpet making and then they passed on their newly acquired skills to other villagers. Learning a skill from someone you know is much easier and more enjoyable and, therefore, more effective.
While JRC is based in Rajasthan and does in fact work with many weavers from the state, we also have a presence across several regions in north India. JRF collaborate with the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society in order to launch the Promotion of Hand Knotted Carpet Weaving project in Gaya, Bihar. The goal of the project is to create non-farming sources of income for almost 2,000 beneficiaries through skill development. Currently, there are 32 villages that are participating in this program and almost 500 people have been successfully trained. After training, artisans are provided with work in their own localities resulting in easier accessibility.
In Aoyimkum, Dimapur District, Nagaland, women are on their way to becoming entrepreneurs. With the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), JRF provides training to two dozen women under Assistance to Rural Women in Non-Farm Development (ARWIND). Within a short period of time, these bright women’s learning capacity and awareness about designs, colors and textures has been enhanced. They have also learned to identify, and thereby reduce, errors during the weaving process.
At the international level, JRF partnered with the British Council to launch the Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Program, which aims to instill an entrepreneurial mindset among grassroots artisans. It targets young and marginalized rural women with the intention of broadening their perspective about rug weaving and enabling them to connect with the end customers. As a part of this program, an exposure visit to the Jaipur corporate office is organized, where a four-day training program is conducted to motivate the weavers to become social entrepreneurs by orienting them with the skills required for becoming an entrepreneur and the support system available by us to develop these skills.
These are among the many partnerships JRF has cultivated in the past in order to enhance the lives of our family of weavers. Without the generous help and guidance of these various groups and individuals, it would be impossible to JFR to continue on its journey of empowering the rural artisan.