Incredible India Initiative
P.S. Bakultala, P.O. Madhyamanir tat,
Dist. S. 24 Pgs,
Kitchen Garden Project Under Incredible India Initiative- JKMSSS Eco Resort & Spa
Project Name: Ramu Chacha
Tired of Boring City Life?…Look no further. We are just 2 hours away from Kolkata. Come enjoy #TheSunderbans, with #farmfresh products, catch & cook your meal. Enjoy a life out of nowhere. Get lost in the divinity of nature. Project Ramu chacha is an initiative by us under Incredible India initiative.
Cloth for Work - Cloth as Currency
Project Name: Work for Cloth
As a part of mutually dignified partnering programme, we took part in the CFW programme under Goonj.org.
Traditionally, clothing has been a neglected item on the agendas of governments, funding agencies, and NGOs. While it is hailed as a basic right, it has become more of a disaster relief material or something that is given away when the owner has no more use for it. So, cloth has acquired the status of a charitable object, stripping the discarded garment and the recipient of any shred of dignity.
From its inception, Goonj has sought to establish cloth as an item of value. We have a detailed system of repairing and repurposing every bit of cloth from the items we receive, ensuring zero wastage. Old jeans are turned into schools bags, cotton fabric is used in making sanitary pads or quilts. Thus, by creating new use for cloth, under CFW program, its value as a resource goes up.
With this in mind, Goonj launched the Cloth for Work (CFW) programme, evolving two new currencies of development – material and labour. In CFW, we work with partners and communities to identify infrastructural improvements that need to be undertaken in the villages. Villagers then work to dig wells, clean ponds, repair roads, and build schools in the community, for which they are compensated with material resources like clothing, utensils, furniture, and foodgrains.
In most development work, there is an over-dependence on money given by international agencies and through CSR. The CFW programme, where communities have the autonomy to identify their needs and work on tasks that they have prioritised, has decentralised and thereby challenged the development process. The material compensation received under CFW, on average, two pairs of clothes per family member, can tide the family over a year and allow for earnings from agricultural labour or MNREGA to be spent more productively.
Thus, besides dignifying the act of giving, CFW has elevated cloth from its status as disaster relief material to a valuable resource that can be earned. We have a seen a return to the traditional barter system between labour and material. This has led people to understand the power they possess to transform their communities using their own labour, knowledge, and resources, independently and free of assistance from external agencies. Thus, labour and second hand material have been redefined as tools of social change.