TARA PROJECTS – visit by Hazel Dobson and Rachel Farey November 2017

In November 2017, Hazel Dobson, Manager of Gateway World Shop in Durham, went to the WFTO Biennial Conference in Delhi, and teamed up with Rachel Farey of One World Shop, who was also representing the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. Before the actual Conference took place, they visited several producers, one of which was Tara Projects, a WFTO Guaranteed Member organisation. Here I have condensed some information from Tara’s latest Newsletter to provide you with more information on how they operate as a fair trade concern.

TARA supports many capacity-building programs, such as producer workshops; raising awareness of hygiene with members of the community who suffer from cerebral palsy and disabilities; exploring fair marketing opportunities to support small farmers, and they too attended and helped co-organise the WFTO Biennial Conference with the Fair Trade fraternity in India.

You may (or may not) know that TARA projects stands for Trade Alternative Reform Action Projects, www.taraprojects.com whose mission according to its website is as follows:

“…to practice fairness in its production and trading activities for the development of the grassroots and the other marginalised sections of society, using capacity building towards continuously improving its performance while ensuring social equity and environmental sustainability. It is committed to following the fair trade standards developed by WFTO.”

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It works with such producer groups as “Mahila Vikas Samooh” (see  image to the left from TARA website) a women’s Development Group in Bawana, New Delhi. TARA projects initiated a livelihood generation programme and a tailoring centre for the young women in the slum community, plus a free tuition centre for underprivileged children. Due to the government polices, the slums had been demolished and, regarding a relocation of the people, 18 yards of land were given to each slum dweller on the out skirts of the city. The women now produce artificial jewellery. Over time the organization provided further training in designing to improve the skills of the artisans and therefore the quality of the products. The group started with seven women. Now it has reached nineteen women, who work jointly in the direction of economic empowerment. Today are more aware and economically better off than before.

TAJA-8-42-800x500They also work with producer group Taja 8, in Pataudi, Haryana, where beadwork is again produced (see image above, right from TARA website). Pataudi is a small town in the state of Haryana. It is 60 kilometres away from the west of Delhi. Before the English came, the town was ruled by the feudal ruler family of Nawab of Pataudi. During those times he ruled 52 villages surrounding Pataudi town.

He also built his palace there.  The times changed and the rulers lost their power, glory and territory. But the name of Pataudi still remains. The population of Pataudi consists of both Muslims and Hindu communities. They have always lived in peace here. The Nawab still owns agricultural land in Pataudi and the area around, and lends the land to very small farmers on Ugahi (yearly contract basis).

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