Progress Indian women through economic empowerment
Provide high quality focused vocational training and employment to enable marginalized women of India enhance their standard of living, sense of dignity and independence
Welcome to Anoothi
Anoothi was born to create sustenance, to provide sustenance. Like Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth!
Anoothi is a social enterprise for women, of women, by women. We aim at and work for TRUE empowerment of women from marginalized and oppressed communities. This means that Anoothi provides Direction, Support and Autonomy to these women so that they can find means to live a life of dignity and independence. Since its inception Anoothi has come a long way and currently has over 500 women working as apprentices, artisans, senior artisans, trainers and managers who make beautiful hand crafted products using traditional skills of India.
Anoothi was Co-founded by Jaimala after she worked intensively with orphaned and abandoned children through Vatsalya for eight years. (please visit www.vatsalya.org). Vatsalya began taking care of orphaned and abandoned children in 2001. By 2008, it was observed that most of the children Vatsalya took into its residential care program came essentially from families where the father was absent. He was absent because either he was dead, alcoholic, abusive, unemployed, disabled or simply not interested in doing anything to support his family. That responsibility in such cases fell upon the mother who, like most girls raised in poor families in India, was neither educated nor skilled to be self sufficient. It was the sons and daughters of these mothers that Vatsalya found begging on the streets, selling incense sticks or balloons, shoe shining or paper vending and so on. Some were even rescued by Vatsalya from the traps of sex rackets and the gangs engaged in many other antisocial activities. Thus Anoothi was created in 2008 and since then, it has changed lives of not only hundreds of women but also eliminated any chance of abuse and exploitation of their daughters and sons.
Who we are…
Heard of a woman who had nothing, was raised to be nothing, was told to expect nothing and be nothing? Anoothi finds these women and kindles their hope and desire to Be Something, trains them to Do Something and inspirers them to Create something.
These marginalized women that Anoothi reaches out to and works with are from remote villages and the smoldering slums of the country. Most of them used to work as daily wage casual laborers, digging roads, weeding farms, etc., until Anoothi enrolled them in their livelihood and economic empowerment program. Over 500 women forced in the sex trade in order to feed their children also comprise of Anoothi work force. Together, over 4000 women are trained by Anoothi so far and over 600 work directly with Anoothi earning anything between ₹4000 to ₹ 12000 per month. When we began in 2008, these women could barely say a straight sentence about themselves. Today, they hold positions as Trainers, Senior Artisans, Supervisors, Managers, Community Mobilizers, and so on. Most importantly, they MANAGE their own lives!
What we do…
Anoothi trains women in skills that are simple and traditional. Traditional Indian textile products are ethically made with environment consciousness by the women we train. Our Zero Waste policy is to make use of the last strand of the raw material used for making the main product.
The major skills set given to Anoothi women are:
-Kantha (a hand needle work on layers of fabric)-Wood block printing -Natural/Organic dyeing -Stitching -Stuffed toys
Anoothi begins with community mobilization wherein trained social workers reach out to these women and try to CONVINCE them to enroll. It is a very slow process and it takes time to change the mindset and the thought process of these women who are conditioned to think that suffering is part of their lives. Once enrolled, it’s a training of 3 to 9 months which enables them to reach a level of Apprentice. Some of them begin to make “A Grade” products within this span while others need a longer time. The major Anoothi products are in the category of home furnishing including bedroom and dining room linen, accessories such as bags and pouches, garments, soft toys, tassels and pompoms, etc. Anoothi welcomes the creative involvement of the buyers while our artisans make their customized product. Team work and Transparency are our major ethos!
Why work with us…
Anoothi has an extraordinary perspective. The women who are rescued from abject poverty and perpetual abuse and exploitation are not simply there in Anoothi to earn their economic independence. They have a higher purpose – to help others to evolve too and to support them in
transforming their lives just the way they could experience it themselves. And therefore, whatever resources are generated through Anoothi, after paying the artisans for their hard work, Anoothi donates a percentage of its profits for the education of poor children, especially young girls. Team work and Transparency are our major ethos! Anoothi welcomes the creative involvement of the buyers while our artisans make their customized product. So, if you want to enjoy the process of creating beautiful products and also be part of beautiful transition that occurs in lives of those in and around us, Anoothi is the right place to go!