Bhubaneswar: New Delhi-headquartered Resham Sutra is a part of the ‘Powering Livelihoods’ programme jointly run by Villgro Innovations Foundation and the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW). It is a social enterprise that innovates, manufactures, and supplies renewable energy-based rural livelihood enabling machines. Although Resham Sutra’s head office is based out of New Delhi, the enterprise has established its dedicated ‘Agri-Silk division’ based out of Ranchi (Jharkhand) and has over 40 on-ground technicians working across different states of India.
Founded in 2016, Resham Sutra helps rural silk yarn producers and fabric weavers of our country to install higher productivity yielding machines, which in turn increases their income as well as reduces physical drudgery and mental stress. Resham Sutra has developed a wide range of affordable electric reeling, weaving, and spinning machines – most of them powered by solar energy – that vastly contribute to improving the working conditions and in creating a predictable and dramatically higher income for over 12,000 silk workers in India.
Resham Sutra’s mission and vision are to enable India’s rural entrepreneurs to profitably produce and market a variety of silk and handloom products with the aid of networks and technology. Besides, the enterprise facilitates the creation of sustainable employment in rural areas to reduce poverty and focuses on empowering the rural population — especially women — through a plethora of opportunities for self-employment in reeling, spinning, and weaving. Resham Sutra is focusing its activities with and for the rural beneficiaries in some of the poorest regions in the country.
mpact and Scope of Resham Sutra’s work in Odisha
Resham Sutra’s center in Keonjhar has now grown into an integrated silk production center with activities from cocoon production to yarn reeling and spinning to weaving to embroidery. The members are all tribal women of Odisha. The women all earn over Rs. 5000 per month and are the prime earners of their families.
Number of machines installed by Resham Sutra in Odisha as of date: over 1300
An enterprise making an on-ground environmental impact with its renewable-energy-based machines for livelihoods enhancement
Socio-Economic Impact: Resham Sutra’s innovations have directly impacted over 12,000 families to date by improving their productivity and income through the enterprise’s machines. With Resham Sutra’s aid, their beneficiaries become self-employed and have a regular source of sustainable income. This is in contrast to the previously existing scenario of the beneficiaries, where they were, at best, daily wage earners with irregular and seasonal jobs. Also, there’s a major improvement in the quality of work, which changes from being hazardous, low-value outdoor work to dignified and creative indoor work due to Resham Sutra’s interventions.
Environmental Impact: Resham Sutra makes maximum use of renewable and low-impact energy sources. The enterprise’s silk production centers are end-to-end solar-powered, including all of its production machines. Resham Sutra’s deployed machines – operating on solar power — collectively reduce Green House Gases emissions by around 6,000 tons per annum.
Resham Sutra is supporting tribal farmers in taking up silk farming. Their support includes bringing eco-friendly techniques, holistic development, and better technology, as well as integrating silk farm-to-retail value chains through effective technology-based and other types of interventions.
The Way Forward
In the months and years to come, Resham Sutra will continue to create sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor by providing them with healthy farm and non-farm-based employment options — which also leads to diversification of income sources for them and cushioning them from agrarian crisis. As the majority of the enterprise’s beneficiaries are women, Resham Sutra intends to engage with them to create conducive working conditions and empower them economically as well. To achieve this, Resham Sutra will continue to fortify its forward and backward linkages across the rural textile value chain.