One of my favourite Fair Trade producers is Karm Marg, an Indian non-governmental organisation committed to the cause of supporting disadvantaged children and young adults from their local area.
“Karm Marg” literally means the “path of action” and begun with a handful of children living on the New Delhi railway station in 1997.
With the help of a social worker, they took to bring about a change in their lives by starting a small kitchen on a street-side to prepare free food for children there. The kitchen was run on the money contributed daily by the older children.
In the last eight years, with the help of a small group of dedicated people, Karm Marg has grown to become a home for about 60 children.
Now based based on 1.5 acres of farm land in Faridabad, just outside New Delhi, they run a children`s home – Karm Gaon, which provides a caring, loving space for the youngsters to live, study, work and play together in a nourishing environment.
The home provides shelter, care, medical support, counselling, sports facilities and education.
In addition, vocational training programmes are run for young adults. An income generation programme that creates revenues by making eco products according to Fair Trade principles, help run the organisation and, in turn, supports economically weak, rural women and alumni of the home.
At the heart of Karm Marg’s functioning has always been the idea to provide these children with a strong support system and to enable them with skills that allow them to be self reliant and sufficient.
It is not only a home where children get love and care, but also a place where the children are exposed to various learning experiences, including the manufacturing of consumer products.
The children have now created their own label, Jugaad™. It means “something made from nothing” – because many of their products are put together from scraps and discarded materials which the children recycle.
The artisans produce many beautiful and unique products by hand.
“Let us know what you think about this wonderful organisation called Karm Marg by leaving a comment below.
I will be featuring more Fair Trade producer groups in my Blog soon.
Thanks for reading” – Paul