Challenging the ‘EMPIRE’, in marketing of products of the rural women producers, is one of the major concerns of CSI SEVA.
In order to bring economic empowerment of the rural women through access to better market and marketing systems, CSI SEVA has been encouraging the dioceses to create platforms of exhibitions and sales (including outlets) where the products from different dioceses are sold, under the brand name of Women DARE.
Accordingly, two Women DARE Fairs, in the mission festivals of CSI Madurai Ramnad Diocese and of CSI Diocese of Vellore were organised to promote and market the products, produced by women groups from various dioceses, was inaugurated on 10th at Madurai and on 16th & 17th August at Vellore respectively.
59th Home Missionary Festival & Sales was held on 10th August 2019 at OCPM Girls Higher Secondary School, Madurai. Rural women producers from Mandapasalai Peace Centre exhibited and sold their products, mainly the ready-to-wear dresses, nighties. Similarly, in the mission festival of CSI Vellore Diocese, Women DARE stall took a space to exhibit and sell the products of the women producers and Rt.Rev.H.Sharma Nithiyanandham, Bishop of CSI Vellore Diocese, visited the stall, purchased products and opined that, “Church’s support to the women producers would help them come out of poverty and overcome multiple obstacles”. Mr. Wilson Rajasekhar’s presence(Deputy Collector of Tiruvannamalai District ) as the guest of honour was an encouragement for the Women producer groups, as he shared his experience working with Women SHG’S. These two fairs have showcased a wide range of handlooms, handicraft, Church articles, herbal products, fashion and beauty articles, bamboo products, silk thread ornaments, and food products.
CSI SEVA encourages the dioceses across South India to provide to the rural women producers a national platform and an opportunity to showcase and sell their products, and seek buyers, either individuals or bulk buyers for sale by setting up a Women DARE outlet in their respective dioceses. Currently, Women DARE retail outlets are set up in CSI Kanyakumari Diocese, CSI Malabar Diocese, CSI South Kerala Diocese and few more to come in the near future. Women DARE hopes to usher in an era of vibrant and JUST, self-sustained and life-affirming, local economy that affirms life and livelihood of Dalit and Adivasi communities involved in self-employed micro enterprise to stand up to the ‘global empire’.
J. George Wesley