The Church of South India has opened an outlet in its Chennai-based headquarters to sell products produced by hundreds of Women Dalit and Adivasi Rural Entrepreneurs (Dare) groups across south India. Women Dare was designed to “usher in an era of a vibrant and just, self-sustained and life affirming local economy that affirms the life and livelihood of Dalit and Adivasi communities,” K Prem Madhuker, the co-ordinator of CSI-SEVA, the province’s diaconal concerns department, said.
“During the past several years hundreds of self-help groups were initiated in CSI churches through different empowerment programs,” Madhuker said. “Skill training and entrepreneurship development has been carried to these groups to become Dalit and Adivasi rural entrepreneurs.”
Last year the groups were surveyed to discover how many of them were active and engaged in production activities. A number of products were gathered and put on sale in the CSI Synod Centre in Chennai on CSI Day – 27 September. The response was so good that a decision was taken to establish a permanent outlet. The CSI Moderator, Bishop Thomas K Oommen , opened the new outlet this week.
“Through this, the products will be adequately standardised, widely marketed and the resources ploughed in for sustainability,” Madhuker said.
The director of CSI SEVA, Asir Ebenezer, gave a brief introduction to the initiative and said that the efforts are on to establish similar outlets in all the CSI dioceses, as well as partner officers in different countries.