Shramik, which means “laborer” in Hindi, is an organization that works with 12 rural villages in South India, in the area of Karnataka. The region has little employment opportunity apart from farming, which is completely dependent on the weather/seasons and therefore cannot sustain the villages completely. Moreover, limited access to power, education and health care keeps these villages from developing.
Shramik helps local women master the art of ethnic stitches and ornamental joinery, as applied to a wide variety of high quality, eco-friendly products. They do this using a wide variety of skills and materials, including rope work, jute, cotton and leather. The organization was founded by Pastor of a local church. It now has 4 officers managing the coordination with 200 artisans in 4 production centers.
The artisan group makes the cotton and jute bags, such as Nature Nectar and Jute Coil bags, following strict Fair Trade practices. These practices are helping improve the livelihood issues faced by the artisans. In addition, the organization promotes the creation of Self Help Groups for most development initiatives, focusing on education for the children, economic development, the empowerment of women, clean water projects, among others.