Students from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) are doing their bit to make a difference in someone’s life.
A few students of IMT have started an initiative to empower a group of tribal women in Jharkhand.
For the past one year, three IMT students, supported by the faculty, have been selling ‘Saura’ and other forms of paintings crafted by tribal women based in Jharkhand.
“The women are not educated and were finding it hard to sustain themselves. They have an inherent talent of making traditional paintings but the prime challenge was to tap their talent and market their product. For the past one year, our students’ group has been marketing their paintings with the help of NGO Govindalya and the amount is being remitted to the self-help group in Jharkhand. We are also in the process of promoting other forms of paintings like Sohrai,” said Ranjana Agarwal, who hails from Jamshedpur and is an associate professor (economic environment policy) at IMT Ghaziabad.
She added that the students’ efforts generate on an average Rs. 6,000 per month from the paintings made by a group of Oraon tribe women. These women are a part of a self-help group Singi Dai Mahila Mandal.
Oraon is one of the tribal communities that depend on agriculture and also works of timber and forest products. The tribe is found in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal.
“I have seen these people work on daily wages. Sometimes they don’t even earn enough to buy two meals a day which is why I decided to start the initiative. The task is challenging as there is no fixed model of marketing the paintings here. We have held exhibitions and are also exploring possibilities at mid-budget hotels since the bigger hotels have their own set of pre-designed interiors. We will also be exploring possibilities among foreign visitors,” said Himanshu Saurabh, an IMT student who hails from Ranchi.
“Once we receive the paintings from Jharkhand, we get them framed and packaged here. The Saura paintings are popular in the NCR region,” he said.
“The idea is to generate a sustainable livelihood for the tribal women. I will visit these women soon and see how our efforts have helped change their lives,” said Shikha Singh, another IMT student, who hails from Varanasi.