About the Soap Nut Producer
Our Soapnuts are supplied by Asha Handicrafts, (Asha means "hope" in Sanskrit), which was established in 1975 by a group of Christian businessmen, and today successfully markets handcrafts for over 50 family workshops around India, representing 1500 artisans, irrespective of caste or creed. Asha Handicrafts provides a secure market for small scale artisan workshops like ANSA, the soapnut harvesters in Tamil Nadu region in southern India.
Asha Handicrafts provide the artisans’ families with medical care and educational assistance, including scholarships for primary school children, school fees, uniforms and books, as well as monetary advances to purchase raw materials and interest free loans. Instead of becoming reliant on Asha, they encourage and assists the workshops to find their own markets and to deal directly with customers, eventually becoming independent.
Anthyodaya Sangham (ANSA) is an NGO founded in 1980 in Tamil Nadu to help rural folk sustain themselves through indigenous business practices. ('Anthyodaya' means development from destruction, 'Sangha' means association.) ANSA aims at integrated development of the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society. The people ANSA work with are mostly castes who are socially marginalized.
On the social side they seek to involve women’s groups in most of their activities, empowering them economically and socially by providing them with adequate training and education. They have several self-help groups of women who are involved in saving and micro-credit schemes and are given entrepreneurship training to grow their own group businesses.
About the Producer - Member of the World Fair Trade Organisation - Located in India
Provides markets, medical and education assistance, raw materials and interest-free loans to producers
Encourages producers to set up their own businesses and find their own markets
Visit Asha Handicrafts website - http://www.ashahandicrafts.net/products.php