CSR Success Stories
Rajni (Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh)
Rajni: Weaving the magic of craft with golden grass
The Moonj Craft is made by weaving natural or dyed dried grass called Moonj, to obtain sturdy and long lasting products. This craft is taught from generation to generation and practice by women to create gifting baskets or other articles in Uttar Pradesh
The story of Raini from Mahasui village of Ramgarh, Uttar Pradesh is awe inspiring and fascinating. She comes from a poor family and has been to a school till middle class. She has been a weaver all her life and was working to pay off debts when the DBF team met her. She was deeply unhappy about the trials and tribulations of working in the handicraft sector.
A project for reviving Moonj craft was initiated by Dalmia Foundation. This has been a ray of new hope for her and has brought about a new experience and a new understanding for adopting Moonj craft making as an alternative means of livelihood.
Rajni, amongst all other women in her village took a lead and went for a training to weave the products professionally. Post training, she started making these products at her home and selling it to the nearby market. During this time, she used to earn an income of Rs.15,000 annually.
After studying the market and seeing product marketability, she soon realised the power of working collectively and started adding more women in the group. She encouraged women to learn this craft and enrolled 40 women in the group namely “Laxmi Swayam Sahayata Samooh” and started giving training in smaller groups. Her hard work has finally paid off. With the help of DBF she has raised the size of her business from Rs.30,000 pa to Rs.2,50,000 pa.
The sky is the limit and now she is progressing towards forming an Off Farm Producer Organisation and also exploring marketing opportunities nationally.