The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 Handbook Vol. VI: Making A Difference

Philanthropy isn’t a cinch. To have a conscience that allows you to donate time, effort, and money to uplift less fortunate is commendable. At Kala Ghoda, amidst a bunch of commercial makers were a few who spent nine whole days at the event with the sole purpose of giving back to the community. We’ve compiled a list of some of the organisations that caught out eye and you should definitely know about.

Philanthropy isn’t a cinch. To have a conscience that allows you to donate time, effort, and money to uplift less fortunate is commendable. At Kala Ghoda, amidst a bunch of commercial makers were a few who spent nine whole days at the event with the sole purpose of giving back to the community. We’ve compiled a list of some of the organisations that caught out eye and you should definitely know about.

A. K. Munshi Yojna

Based in Mumbai, the A. K. Munshi Yojna is run by a group of selfless teachers who help handicapped kids and orphans nurture various forms of art with the aim of helping them make a livelihood out of it. With over a 150 students from ages 3 to 50 enrolled, the idea is to teach them to make various products like trays, necklaces, and other accessories. The profits earned are then used to feed the kids as well as transferred to a savings account under the kids’ names. It takes both time and effort, but once the kids get a hang of it, it’s makes them independent, thereby securing both their present and their future.

Nav Chetna Sewa Sansthan

Bihar’s artistry goes back generations and the aim of the organisation is to preserve and promote the same. Nav Chetna Sewa Sansthan is an organisation that works with artisans all over the country — albeit, with a slight twist. The products are specifically made from a rare kind of grass that is found on the river banks in the region during the monsoon months. Called “Sikki” in India and “Golden Grass” in the West, it was traditionally woven into the products. However, a new method was invented in the past couple of decades where the designs are made using fingernails. Watch Sunny Gupta explain the process and much more in the video below.

Rustic Arts

Nitin and Shilpa Karkare’s Rustic Arts venture is rather fascinating. The couple, who has a handicraft background and runs a homestay resort in Ratnagiri, started Rustic Arts three years ago with the aim of helping local artisans by giving them jobs. These include carpenters, potters, and anyone who has the skill to use wood or clay. The wood is to produce coasters, trays, furniture, and kitchenware, whereas they use the terracotta method of clay-making to make pots and home decor products. The opportunities provided to the artisans help them sustain themselves without having to work long hours a day to make ends meet, which is rather incredible.

MCGM Self-Help Groups

While we’ve featured a few privately run organisations that are making a difference, the BMC, too, does its bit to empower the women in the city. The BMC divides the women into groups of 10 women each and teaches them various skills that help them launch a small business of their own. The training goes on for a few months, after which the government provides the women an opportunity to start their business by providing them with a small loan. The loan itself has a huge subsidy, which helps the women come out of poverty, earn a decent living, and educate their children to lead better lives in the future. The women make all sorts of products: file folders, jackets, jute and leather bags, customised junk jewellery, candles, and even soaps.

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You can view the complete Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 Handbook here.

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

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