New York/New Delhi (Jan. 12, 2012) — The Jaipur Rugs Company announced today that it will train some 10,000 people in northern India on advanced carpet weaving techniques and provide them with access to global markets by 2015 as part of the firm’s commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty while boosting business opportunities in developing countries.
Jaipur Rugs, a manufacturer of hand-knotted carpets in India, is helping low-income people — approximately 60 percent of who are women — in the most economically disadvantaged regions of India gain access to local employment opportunities. Weavers in Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan will receive one-month of training in advanced carpet weaving techniques and quality control to improve the quality and quantity of rugs produced.
Weavers that demonstrate exceptional carpet making skills will go on to receive training to train and manage other weavers in the village.
“Although there are 2.5 million artisans weaving rugs in India, most are not well-paid. In recent years, weavers have seen their wages plummet due to contractors imposing unfair pricing practices when purchasing carpets at the village level,” said Susan Chaffin, BCtA Program Manager. “We at the BCtA welcome Jaipur Rugs’ commitment to creating new and sustainable job opportunities for women and unskilled, low-income laborers in villages thereby enabling them to earn a secure livelihood.”
According to the International Labor Organization, approximately 17 percent of men and 66 percent of women in rural villages are unemployed. Among those that have jobs, 30 percent of men and 36 percent of women live below the poverty line.
Initiatives such as Jaipur’s provide jobs and opportunities to those people that need it the most. Trained weavers contracted through Jaipur Rugs earn an average of US$300- $500 more per year than unskilled artisans.
“Through this initiative, we have the opportunity to provide sustainable livelihoods to the poorest of the poor in an economically disadvantaged region of the world,” said Asha Chaudhary, CEO of Jaipur Rugs “Each time you buy a rug and I sell it, we contribute to alleviation of poverty and create employment for underserved communities.”
Since its inception, Jaipur Rugs has provided training to more than 28,000 low-income home-based weavers and an additional 12,000 wool spinners and dyers. This latest commitment by Jaipur Rugs is part of the company’s long-term growth strategy and plans to extend its market globally.
Jaipur Rugs is one of the leaders of handmade rugs in India. It is globally renowned for its hand-knotted rugs and the way they are woven to contribute to socio-economic development. These rugs are exported to about 30 countries. It is famous across the world for its Social Entrepreneurship Model which it has developed over the three decades by making the production of hand-knotted rug industry completely meant for grassroots level people. There are more than 60 processes in producing hand-knotted rugs. Each process provides its own potential of employability or work scope. This model or business was founded in 1978 with 9 artisans. Since then, Jaipur Rugs has evolved 40,000 jobless people into the artisans by assigning them to these processes.
The Business Call to Action is a global initiative that seeks to challenge companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Agency for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the UK Department for International Development, the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the UN Global Compact, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the International Business Leaders Forum to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis.