Jhoole invests in women, helping them to transform their families and communities. Jhoole respects the resourcefulness of women who work hard to support their families while dealing with the instability of the unorganized sector. We invest in these women, whether they are skilled female artisans or female laborers (mazdur) stuck at the bottom of the supply chain. We provide weavers and seamstresses with training to increase and diversify their traditional skills. We help them to gain market access, offer them a good living wage, steady employment, health insurance and crèche facilities. We help them to develop eco-friendly products that incorporate natural, organic and recycled materials. We also support female field workers (mazdur) who come from scheduled caste and tribal communities by providing them with alternative work opportunities.
Fair trade cotton initiatives tend to focus on fair deals for farmers; however, the most vulnerable individuals involved in cotton harvesting are not the land-owning farmers, but the field workers who regularly deal with dangerous pesticides and the toll of hard, physical labor in return for minimal seasonal wages. Women reliant on these meager earnings to support their families throughout the year are forced to live hand-to mouth; they are so vulnerable that they often continue to work even while in the last months of pregnancy. By providing these women with alternative work in textile production (sewing, embroidery, weaving, etc.) we can help them to more than double their income. We also invest in their children’s’ education and their families’ health care. Ultimately, this type of permanent and stable work contributes to the eradication of child labor. Field laborers find it almost impossible to stick to the no child labor laws, because they simply cannot afford to lose the extra income their children’s work generates. Our practical approach is to help female field workers increase their income making it possible for them to afford to send their children to school.