CSR : UNDP India, LTI and FUEL together empowering 2000 women artisans in Maharashtra

By 2019, the project aims to touch the lives of 500 more women artisans by not only skilling them but also connecting them with exhibitors, retailers and online handicrafts stores to create the necessary market linkage.

MUMBAI: The United Nations Development Programme in India (UNDP India), Larsen and Toubro Infotech (LTI)’s CSR initiative, and Friend’s Union for Energizing Lives (FUEL), a not-profit organization collectively providing skill training to 2000 women artisans under Women Artisan Skill Enhancement project in Mumbai and Thane of Maharashtra.

The initiative is providing viable livelihoods opportunities to women and aims to skill, empower and create income opportunities – through employment or entrepreneurship – for women artisans, most of whom come from marginalized communities.

As part of the partnership, UNDP is the knowledge partner for this unique end-to-end creative value chain project and FUEL is the implementing partner. The partnership is effective from December 2018.

“The Disha Project of UNDP and India Development Foundation supported by Ikea Foundation is also providing technical and knowledge support to this partnership.”, UNDP India said.

The Disha project focuses on enabling women in India to learn marketable skills and connect them with income opportunities.

Clement Chauvet, Chief – Skill Development, UNDP India has said, “Investing in women’s economic empowerment and skills development is one of the most urgent and effective means to drive progress on gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth.”

“Training and creating entrepreneurship opportunities for these women in the creative clusters, shall make them Job Creators rather than Job Seekers, which is the best way to enhance livelihood of the underprivileged communities. We are committed to create a scalable and sustainable success story out of this project”. says Ketan Deshpande, CEO of FUEL.

“Through effective market linkages, our goal is to enable thousands of women in rural parts to contribute to the economy and become self-sufficient. Solving for Society is one of our core beliefs and we are proud to partner with UNDP and FUEL in this initiative that is not only empowering women and creating entrepreneurs but is also helping to revive traditional art forms like Warli.”, said Sanjay Jalona, CEO & Managing Director, LTI.

Women artisans in Mumbai and Thane will be organized in clusters and trained in business skills, product design and packaging, so that they are able to achieve economic empowerment.

As part of the pilot initiative, 250 women artisans have been brought on board and trained in handicrafts, such as Warli (traditional art from Maharashtra) painting, terracotta sculptures, and more.

FUEL is a non-profit organization which has its origin in Pune, was initiated in 2006 and emerged from the idea of providing students with access to information and opportunities. Over the last decade, with experiences from wide sectors like education, skilling, employment and entrepreneurship, FUEL has earned its name in the ‘Champions of Change’ Team spearheaded by Niti Aayog.

(Reported by India CSR Network)