Diversifying because we had to.
“It was not just COVID that hit our economy, there was climate change too. Being an agriculture dependent community, the floods washed out almost everything from the people. There was a pressing need for creative economic solutions.”– Syamala, Founding member.
Once we started working to promote sustainable menstrual practices, we had the opportunity to meet women from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, mostly from the economically marginalised groups. This brought into our awareness the need for sustainable and region-specific economic initiatives, not just to support them financially, but also to empower them with a voice to advocate for themselves. In rural India, a woman is bound both by their culture and their lack of income, and we realised that if we were to bring women to the forefront of our activities, it was necessary to find a solution to the economic situation they were in. Since Maanushi began with no capital, starting a venture was out of the question. So, we started an online store to sell the handmade products that our women knew how to make. This includes soaps, chocolates, curry powders, multigrain and millets powder, hair oils, and much more. A digital store also meant that they could invest in their small businesses during their free time and not be bound by rules on how and when to work. Although we were completely unaware of the business world, we could generate a total sales of over Rs. 1,25,000 in a span of 14 months from the smallest of investments like Rs.500 per initiative in the beginning. We now support 8 women and their families through this initiative. You can check out all our products here : https://www.vibecity.in/maanushi-for-earth