Gramshree

Gramshree Sign

The latest embodiment of Gramshree is a beautiful retail outlet located on the fourth and top floor of Shoppers Plaza on CG Road in Ahmedabad, opposite the Municipal Market. It opened on October 13, 2005 in conjunction with Seva Cafe, which shares the rooftop space. Gramshree is the realization of Manav Sadhna, an innovative grass-roots NGO involved in community development in Ahmedabad, who started the program to benefit the mothers of the destitute children with whom they work. Gramshree now works with 600 women in and around Ahmedabad, training them in traditional handicraft production, such as embroidery, patchwork, candle making, pottery, and paper making, while providing them with healthcare, a savings mechanism, and annual supplies of food staples subsidized through soft loans. The women in Ahmedabad work at the Manav Sadhna offices located on the grounds of the Gandhi Ashram, at a workshop set up in a donated home two doors away from Jayash and Anar Patel, or on the porch of Jayeshbhai and Anarben’s home, assembling two quilts a day. The women outside of Ahmedabad, including those in Patan (an ancient capital of Gujarat where patola saris are produced), have piecework delivered to them by Gramshree staff.

Gramshree Woman

The Gramshree retail outlet is a cooperative venture with like-minded organizations that benefit women and children in the state of Gujarat. Partners include:

Utthan Talim Kendra, an Ahmedabad-based organization that teaches mentally-handicapped boys life skills and functional literacy. The boys are encouraged to express themselves through art and are taught to make handmade paper cards, file folders, and bags, and to use a spiral binder to make address books and diaries.

Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), a grassroots women’s cooperative formed to empower Kutchi women artisans. They have developed their own product line, called Qasab (Kutchi for “craft skill”), and have basic literacy programs as well as a local radio program.

Khamir Craft Resource Center, an organization focused on revitalizing Kutchi crafts (such as pottery, and silver and lacquer work) and improving access to resources and markets for Kutchi artisans.

Gramshree Hands

Gramshree returns 60% of total sales at the retail store to the women in the program. (10% is used for program expenses, including education support for the women’s children, health camps, awareness programs, field trips, and fun, as well as the subsidized food program; 10% goes for material costs; and 20% is used for administrative expenses, including salaries for staff members, many of whom started out doing embroidered piecework.) 80 to 90% of total sales of partner NGO products are returned to the NGOs, with the balance used to cover the operating expenses of the retail outlet. 100% of the sales of individual artisan handicrafts are returned to the artisans.

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1 Response to “Gramshree”


  1. 1 Rajev Ghildyal February 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

    We are launching a website for products developed and promoted by NGO’S.Will you be interested in promoting your products hrough our efforts.If so, please send details of the products alongwith clear pictures that can be hosted on the website.
    Thanks And Regards
    Rajeev Ghildyal


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