Vision & Mission
Create a better socio-economic world for poor & marginalized women.
Promote a socio-economic model that provides marginalized women opportunities to improve their standard of living, sense of dignity and independence by training them in scalable skills to produce premium hand-crafted goods.
Who we are
Anoothi was Co-founded by Jaimala after she worked intensively with orphaned and abandoned children through Vatsalya for eight years. (www.vatsalya.org). Vatsalya began taking care of orphaned and abandoned children in 2001.
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 supporting 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. This made these women and their children vulnerable to the risk of starvation, abuse and exploitation – physical and emotional.
Thus, Anoothi was created in 2008, a social enterprise for women, of women, by women. Anoothi’ means Unique and Extraordinary in Hindi. The goal of Anoothi is to make these women aware of how ‘Anoothi’ they are. We aim at and work for TRUE empowerment of women from marginalized and oppressed communities. This means that Anoothi provides Direction, Support and Training in vocational/life skills to these women so that they can live a life of dignity, gain financial independence and provide for their families. The marginalized women that Anoothi reaches out to and works with are from remote villages and the smoldering slums of Jaipur. 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!
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. We try to install a higher purpose – help others to evolve and support them in transforming their lives just the way they experienced it for themselves through Anoothi.
After paying the artisans for their work, Anoothi donates a percentage of its profits for the education of poor children, especially young girls to Vatsalya (www.vatsalya.org).
Team work and Transparency are our major ethos! Anoothi welcomes the creative involvement of the buyers with our artisans to make the desired customized product.
If you enjoy creating high quality products and also make a difference in the lives of these women then Anoothi is a good place to start.
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
- 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.