Skill Development Workshop on Soy candle making for the Differently Abled Artisans

SETU believes in self sustainable growth of the artisan community and provides self employment opportunities to the underprivileged and downtrodden sections of the society.

Handmade products have a large potential, requires less investment and offers infinite self employment as well as job opportunities. Special needs people with disabilities and persons with weak mental strength can also create handmade products beautifully and can support themselves & their families financially.

With this objective of promoting employment avenues for the differently-abled, a week-long workshop on soy candle making was organised by SETU, starting from 23rd November 2015. The workshop was organized at our partner NGO called Very Special Arts India, Delhi. VSAI is a non-profit organization working with the disabled and underprivileged young population of India.
Since soy candles are less harmful for the environment and the producers and users, as compared to petroleum wax, therefore this needs to be promoted more and more.

About the Workshop:
The session started with an introduction to the environment friendly soy candles. Comparisons were drawn between the normal wax candles and soy wax candles and also the advantages of using the latter were discussed in detail. The staff members of VSAI too participated in the workshop making it easier for the participants to understand the candle making process. Candles with different designs and textures were made in the workshop. Use of natural aromatic agents and fruits & flowers for beauty & aroma were also shown. Expert trainers were hired to conduct the workshop.

Major points discussed:
– Introduction to soy wax. Basics of soy wax handling and moulding.
– Aroma techniques. Different types of candles in different moulds and new designs.
– Finishing, costing and troubleshooting of problems faced during candle making.

About Soy wax:
Soy wax candles are a non petroleum product. Conventionally, soy wax is used to make container candles and is used in place of the more expensive bees wax. Soy wax is an eco-friendly wax as it is made from soya bean residues. It is completely natural. Its advantages are listed below:

• Soy candles do not release harmful carcinogens
• Soy candles do not produce black soot leaving residue on furnishings
• Soy candles burn substantially longer and more uniform
• Soy candles are water soluble for easy cleanup and biodegradable resulting in reduced landfill
• Soy candles are non-toxic, and do not contain any pesticides or herbicides
• Soy candles contribute to the reduction of our dependency on crude oil
• Soy candles promote the care of our environment by utilizing plants that are not depleted

The innovative concept of soy candle making was taken positively by the participants and they felt overwhelmed to be a part of the workshop. The session provided a great learning opportunity to the participants as they can make candles using different types of containers, fragrances and colors and sell them in the market as they have a no. of USPs over traditional wax candles.