3 Homegrown Social Enterprises Empowering India’s Rural Communities

3 Homegrown Social Enterprises Empowering India’s Rural Communities
(L) Angai Soap ; Dubare Elephant Camp (R)

Much of what we consume and experience comes from giant enterprises with finance that backs them; where those at the top only seem to go higher and those toiling at lower levels stay put. Whether it be fashion, lifestyle, travel, or any mainstream industry — the credit and profit rarely ever go back to where they began.

In India, several organisations are set to change that. With their dual focus on artisan n recognition and profitability, these enterprises bring a sense of hope into the world. Allowing people who create and facilitate creation to regain agency by way of making something tangible is an honourable effort.

Here are just a few of these organisations and their efforts of making the artisanal industry a more inclusive and well-credited space.

I. Angai Soap

From the Arsilingi village in Odisha, Angai Soap is a social enterprise that mobilises women and uses local resources to make handmade soaps. The soaps are rich in karanja and toola oil. Their name comes from the word Angai, which in their local language, Saura, refers to the moon –– to represent its off-white colour, and also its smooth yet imperfect properties.

Angai is a source of not just livelihood to a group of women from the Lanjia Saura tribe, but also a pathway to empowerment, agency, and independence.

Find Angai Soap here.

Image Courtesy: Angai Soap

II. Dubare Elephant Camp

In the serene destination of Coorg, there is more on offer than peace and serenity. At one with nature and in an effort to preserve and protect the wonderful elephants of the region, the Dubare Elephant Camp succeeds at bringing about a conversation on the interaction between man and the environment. The Naturalists of Kodagu train the elephants and also shelter them.

An interplay to notice here is that the Dubare camp is also home to bees, who are respected just the same. Tours of the camp may include elephant interactions as well as beekeeping.

Find Dubare Elephant Camp here.

III. Thori

Through ‘skill building for underprivileged, marginalised groups of artisans’, Thori produces several lifestyle and home decor products using various art forms including Bagru and Barmer. Thori creates a holistic environment for local artisans to be empowered and grow and to put their undying talents towards a greater good, all while earning their share.

Having originated in Rajasthan, their name is an inspiration from the nomadic tribe Thori, otherwise also known as Nayak, Heri, and Aheri.

Find Thori here.

Image Courtesy: Thori

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