Lucknow: HCL Foundation under its flagship programme HCL Samuday, has partnered with Flipkart Samarth to provide livelihood opportunities to rural women in the Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh by reviving existing crafts and skilling through training programmes. As part of this initiative, HCL Samuday unveiled Samuday Crafts, which includes a range of handmade products prepared by 500 rural women artisans. During the event, an exclusive range of home decor products namely ‘Alankaar’ was also launched. All products will be available on the Flipkart website.
The event was held in the presence of Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Rural Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) who was also the Chief Guest of the event along with Smt Vijay Laxmi Gautam, Minister of State – Rural Development, GoUP, Shri Manoj Kumar Singh, IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, GoUP, Alok Varma, Project Director – HCL Samuday and Clean NOIDA, HCL Foundation and Tushar Mukherjee, Director – Government Affairs at Flipkart Group were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister & Minister for Rural Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh said, “The Government of Uttar Pradesh is working in collaboration with HCL Foundation in 11 blocks of the Hardoi district in six areas of rural development including health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, infrastructure and livelihood. Through the livelihood intervention, over 22,000 rural women have been able to strengthen the financial condition of their families. HCL Foundation’s partnership with Flipkart will further help rural women artisans to reach a much wider audience through their handicrafts. I would like to congratulate them on this initiative. The state government has always supported handicrafts and we are committed to supporting replication of such cluster development models in other parts of the State.”
Alok Varma, Project Director, HCL Foundation, said, “The handicraft sector provides an opportunity to create an alternate source of income for rural women, skilled in making traditional handicraft products. Since 2015, as part of its livelihood interventions, HCL Samuday has supported 22,000 women with a range of livelihood opportunities. While close to 2,000 women artisans have benefitted from additional income through our efforts, we realized that the potential could be much higher if we can connect them directly to the consumers. Our partnership with Flipkart Samarth is a step in this direction and can be truly transformational for these artisans. This association will help showcase the ingenuity of skilled artisans on a global platform, resulting in increased acknowledgement and remuneration. We expect that the partnership will help artisans to make sales of around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month directly.”
Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said, “Flipkart’s Samarth initiative was launched in 2019 to support under-served communities, artisans, weavers and craftsmen and provide them access to a national market, using the power of eCommerce. Through this initiative, we have been able to support millions of livelihoods engaged with this programme across the country. Under this partnership with HCL Samuday, we are committed to extending the opportunities of the digital economy to these talented women artisans, supporting their financial independence and building visibility for their local crafts.”
Samuday Crafts enables rural artisans to produce and sell products in the categories of home décor, lifestyle, and apparel. It offers a range of crafts like embroidery, natural fibre-based crafts (Moonj, Kans, and Wheat Grass), hand embroidery (chikankari), block-printing, and tie and dye. The price range of these products starts from Rs 200 and goes up to Rs 3,500. Working together as a group since 2017, these rural women artisans have been enabled to generate revenue of Rs. 3.5 Cr in the last five years, helping them individually earn an average income of Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000 per month. This additional income is empowering the rural women in the district with a sense of financial security while helping them become earning members of the household. This is a comprehensive livelihood upliftment initiative where women are empowered, not only through skill development on handicrafts but also in financial literacy, design and marketing linkages. They also benefit from health initiatives under HCL Samuday, thus leading to holistic transformation.
To ensure that rural women refine their craft-making skills, HCL Foundation, over the years, has partnered with Craftizens, Kadam, and Rang Sutra to provide skill training to artisans in multiple crafts. Artisans have also been supported to showcase their work in various exhibitions such as Dastakar, Delhi Haat, Jaipur Lifestyles Festivals, and Heritage, etc.