SKILL & LIVELIHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Rakshak Foundation pursues its vision of 'Jute for Climate Action' through multifarious innovative initiatives, like mass distribution drives, participation in international and national platforms, innovative showcasing, participation in fashion shows. And the latest feat of creating the Guinness World Record for the largest Jute bag in the World. All these initiatives are focused on influencing lifestyle shifts in consumer behavior towards responsible consumption and expanding the user base of diversified jute products by catering to the needs of all strata of the society and penetrating sectors like lifestyle, fashion, home decor, utility etc.
PRODUCTION UNITS & WORKSHOPS
skill & livelihood development initiatives
Rakshak Foundation works towards its mission of 'Jute for Climate Action' through its flagship project, 'Jute Story Beyond Bars. It involves responsible skilling and livelihood development of prison inmates and underprivileged women and youth in production of diversified, trendy nd fashionable jute products. With two units in the Dumdum Central Correctional Home and Presidency Correctional Home, in association with the Directorate of Correctional Services, Govt. of West Bengal, it also has a unit outside the jail, in Alipore.
Till date 1600 prison inmates have been undergone training under the aegis of Rakshak Foundation, by trainers, certified by the National Jute Board, Government of India.
The foundation organizes short term workshops for skilling women and young prison inmates in soft skills like spoken English, Cookie Making, Painting, rock carving, dancing, to help them articulate themselves better and engage their minds in positive activities and showcase their creative side to the society. It aims to help their social inclusion and acceptance by orienting their minds to the finer and more artistic side of life but also helps the society to look a them from a different perspective.
artistic & cultural inclusion
The humanitarian and empowerment efforts for foundation are guided by the idea that all-round reformation and inclusion of the marginalized is possible only when their minds are oriented towards art, culture and belonging. It also makes the society appreciation the inner beauty and talent of the artist.
'Aitijhya', an extraordinary exhibition of art done by prison inmates was organized by the foundation on World Heritage Day- 2018, at the Indian Museum with eminent internationally acclaimed artists, ambassadors and eminent dignitaries. This was a huge endorsement of the appreciation and acceptance of the society towards the prison inmate arists. The exhibition was a grand success and all the art pieces were sold out.
The foundation not only organized this hugely successful exhibition, but also held a one-year workshop for the prison inmates, prior to it, under the guidance of eminent internationally acclaimed artists, Suvaprasanna and Wasim Kapoor. The exhibition was the culmination of this entire journey.
LIVE ART AT TATA MARATHON
a taste of freedom and acceptance
Rakshak Foundation organized a open air, live art session by women prison inmates at the inauguration of the hugely popular TATA Marathon 25K which has a participation of over 10K national and international marathon enthusiasts.
The foundation organized special permission for the participation in 5 women prison inmate artists in the event, for a live, open-air painting session at the flagging off ceremony.
The energized and enthusiastic mood of the event boosted the enthusiasm and confidence of participants.
RAIBENSHE WORKSHOP & PERFORMANCE
harnessing energy and art for reformation
The Foundation organized a Raibenshe dance workshop for the male prison inmates where they were trained by experts in the tough martial style, tribal dance form.
The workshop culminated into an electrifying performance on the prestigious stage of ICCR, at the International Mega Fair 2020, organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce, hosted by Biswa Bangla, Government of West Bengal.
promoting responsible consumption
The foundation has undertaken mass distribution drives at events with huge foot fall like Gangasagar Pilgrimage, in association with the District Magistrate's ofiice, South 24 parganas, Government of West Bengal, Mayor's Drive against single-use plastic, Kolkata Children's Film Festival, Rotary District 3291 events, Nabadisha annual sports day, in association with Kolkata Police and apart from other prestigious events.
The objective behind free distribution drives is to let large number of people experience usage of jute bags and grow awareness about the hazards of using single-use plastic.
EXPOS & STORE PRESENCE
influencing lifestyle shifts
Rakshak Foundation has taken its diversified jute products to elite stores like Toile, Mumbai, Oxford Book Store, Kolkata, Y East, Kolkata and international platforms like BIMSTEC, SAARC, ICC Reverse Buyers and Sellers Meet and such prestigious forums, where it has not only promoted the jute products but also advocated the use of jute as an eco-friendly, sustainable and responsible alternative to single-use plastic and other bio hazardous materials.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
Limited Edition Bags launched in Dubai
Limited Edition Jute Bags, were made with the reclaimed jute from the Guinness Record Holding Bag, with the message 'Greener, Healthier, Inclusive World'.
The bags were launched in Dubai in February 2021 by His Excellency Suhail Muhammad Al Zarooni, at the Jumeirah Palace.
Chaitali Das, Managing Trustee of Rakshak Foundation was conferred the title of 'International Green Ambassador' on the occasion.
OBSERVING ENVIRONMENT DAYS
awareness on eco-conservation
Every year, the foundation observes important days earmarked by the UN, such as, Environment Day, Earth Day to promote environment awareness and prevent use of single-use plastic or biohazardous materials. These programs are often done in association with US Consulate and other prestigious organizations.
The foundation involves underprivileged youth from its New Horizon Holistic Development Centre for such events, in order to orient them towards responsible eco-friendly action and intervention. Distribution of eco-friendly jute bags, planting saplings, circulating messages for eco-conservation , walks with eco-awareness placards and such activities are undertaken at these events.