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Reviving Rural Labour
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Reviving Rural Labour

India has the world’s largest rural population, but many rural women are either unemployed or work in low-paid, casual labour. Kunal Vaid, Director of Ashden Award-winning Resham Sutra, explains how the company's solar-powered reeling machines increase economic productivity while improving rural women’s independence and quality of life.

Visit Resham Sutra's website to find out more.

Photograph courtesy of Ashden

Empowering women through work not only reduces poverty, but also contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Textile production is the largest generator of rural employment in India after agriculture - and the work is often arduous and low-paid, with women making up the majority of the workforce. Thigh silk reeling, a traditional technique used in the production of silk, is a job carried out mainly by women that results in hand and thigh injuries. As well as providing a low-paid and unpredictable income, the technique itself is inefficient.

Resham Sutra have developed affordable solar powered silk reeling machines that improve productivity and the working conditions of the women. They use 10% of the power of a standard silk reeling machine and the majority of Resham Sutra’s customers double their income after switching to their machines. As they are powered by solar, the machines are less reliant on the electricity supply in rural India which can be unpredictable.

Resham Sutra also provides holistic support for their customers, helping them access raw materials and find markets for their products. In addition, they also offer retailers access to ethically and ecologically produced goods with complete traceability. Empowering women through work not only reduces poverty, but also contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

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