Every year, the month of October is celebrated as the Fair Trade Month.. It’s an extremely special time of the year when Fair Traders across the globe carry out activities to mark the occasion. To observe the day, SETU organised a Fair Trade awareness workshop at a women’s self help group in the slums of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The group comprises of women artisans who belong to poor families. Their husbands are mostly labourers but are unable to fend for their families either due to drinking habits or due to lack of work. They belong to conservative family backgrounds where women do not get much respect and have no say in their family matters or financial aspects. SETU helped these women to get organized and conducted vocational trainings. SETU now helps in selling the products made by them in the international market. These women now make many accessories, bags & range of home decor stuff from recycled fabrics. As they work from home, they can take care of their family and children and do the household chores as well. With the earnings obtained from selling the products these women artisans are now able to support their families financially. They now not only have a say in their family & send their kids to school but a position in their community as well.
The objective of the Fair Trade Awareness workshop was to create an understanding on the subject among the artisans and to introduce them to the ten basic principles of the Fair Trade movement. Twenty five women artisans participated in the session.
A glance at the major points discussed in the workshop.
• Fair Trade Principles
• Personal and skill based development of the artisans
• Sustainable growth opportunities arising out of Fair Trade
• Employment avenues in Fair Trade
• Fair wages , a right of every artisan
• Preservation of the ancestral craft forms, a need of the hour
• Fair pricing of the products manufactured by the producers in developed countries.
• Gender based equality and religion based equality
• Raising the living standards of artisans by providing them with equal growth opportunities.
SETU team put forward the fact that in western parts of the world, Fair Trade campuses and Fair Trade cities have been established, such concepts needs to be done in Asian countries as well for the spread of Fair Trade concept. Also, people should be encouraged to buy Fair Trade products as this will increase the demand of the same which in turn will provide employment to more and more artisans.
At the end of the session, there was an open house where women artisans asked questions and gave their views about the concept. It was a knowledgeable and fun filled session where artisans learnt more about Fair Trade and felt happy to be associated with it..