Tara Projects from India
is the artisan in the spotlight this week
"We can live the life we want, without cultural restraints. We feel empowered, like there's nothing we can't do. The factors keeping us oppressed are gone thanks to Tara."
Tara Projects is a fair trade organization based in New Delhi, India. The project seeks to help craftspeople gain awareness, rights and human dignity in order to combat poverty. Tara provides women and men with economic security through regular work at living wages, craft training and marketing services.
Founded in the early seventies with the goal of providing avenues of economic growth to economically disadvantaged artisans in Delhi, Tara has become a pillar of the fair trade community in India. Since its inception, Tara Projects has been committed to fighting exploitation, poverty, and illiteracy of artisans who are subjected to the social injustices of unfair trade practices. Besides training artisans in design, production and marketing of handicrafts, Tara also funds and maintains several adult literacy and vocational training centers, and has spearheaded numerous campaigns for ecological, environmental and female educational issues, and against child and bonded labor, illiteracy, and unfair trade practices.
Sushma lives in New Delhi, India with her husband and two sons. Five years ago, a family illness forced her to leave school. Sushma found Tara Projects and began working there, immediately receiving a fair wage and steady employment. Sushma works 5-6 hours a day and supplements her husband's income to sustain their family. She pays for her children's school fees, food and clothing. Sushma says, "I am happy that I do not have to earn this money by spending many hours laboring in a factory. We do not have to borrow money from the money lender. I am thankful that Tara Projects gives us work."
Rachna had to leave school just before the 12th grade because her parents were in an accident. As the eldest child, she had to work in a factory to support her younger siblings. Fortunately her father is now able to work again. Her husband does not have a permanent job and doesn't earn enough to support them and their two young children. Rachna heard about Tara Projects and that they were supportive of women. She went through their training program and has now worked with them for 7 years. She is happy she has her own income to add to her husband's. "Life has certainly become better, it is dignified work. With the money I earn I am able to help my children with their studies and other important needs. I am also saving money every month. Fair trade helps those who need it. I am happy that Tara Projects gives us work and supports us."