The Samthar Womens working group (SWWG) was organized in Mar 2007, by Alice Unwin a volunteer from the UK. Seed capital was provided by General Jimmy Singh. The amount catered for purchase of raw material to commence production of handicrafts, and also enables making cash payments to members as soon as they deliver a product.
The SWWG module has been organized with Sub Modules from various parts of the Samthar Area. One of the teachers at the Pre School is the Module Executive.
Local ladies are encouraged to form sub modules based on grouping of local area hamlets. Ladies with skills in handicrafts, who take up the initiative in organizing working groups, are designated as sub - module supervisors. Currently four sub-modules are functional.
Sub- Modules, work from their homes. The SWWG module executive meets with all the Sub- Module supervisors, once a fortnight, and gets together with all members once a month for briefings, and payments.
- Sling Bags
- Bags as outer packaging for other products
- Place mats
- Table Cloths
- Paddy waste products - Dish mats, seating mats
- Packaging of ginger, masalas and pulses with recipes of Indian dishes
We have more than 20 ladies who are members and have earned a good amount through value additions during 2007.
To encourage the village black smith to diversify and earn, the following hand made product range has been started by introducing immediate buy-back. These products are offered for sale at the Handicraft shop.
- Lepcha daggers
- Kitchen ladles
- Forks, knifes,and spoons for display
- Metal bracelets
To provide more earnings to persons engaged in basket making a diversified product range has been identified. Some are listed below:-
- Bamboo napkin holders
- Miniature carrying baskets
- Serving trays
- Waste paper baskets
- Chang (Millet beer containers) and bamboo straws
The handicrafts display and work centre
A modest handicraft work cum display centre has been constructed on the Pre School premises. Apart from providing for a place to display local products, it caters for holding meetings and workshop.
Pricing policy is based on the principle of fair wages and value addition. A mutually agreed labour cost, has been worked out, which members are paid upon delivery. Thereafter the sales price is fixed by adding cost of inputs and value addition. All value addition is donated to the Awake & Shine Pre School.