Amazon India, and Visakhapatnam forest tribals, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), to empower tribal artisans from Visakhapatnam through economic opportunities, cultural preservation, and community development.

A media statement said, the primary objective of this partnership is to provide visibility, and support revenue generation through the forest produce manufactured by the tribals, through listing on Amazon, and in turn create employment opportunities. The ‘Amazon Karigar’ programme, will provide comprehensive training for tribal members in value addition, packaging, and branding, empowering them to sell their products online.

Under this initiative, an e-commerce hub will be established, within the tribal area of Visakhapatnam forest. The hub will serve as a centre for various activities, including primary and secondary packaging, storage, dispatch, and order processing.

Initial products

As part of ‘Amazon Karigar’, tribal artisans, will gain access to Amazon’s reach and resources, showcasing and selling tribal handicrafts. Initially, the project will focus on the online sale of forest produce in non-consumable categories such as grass weaving for mats, elephant dung paper, and bamboo utensils.

Quoting Gaurav Bhatnagar, Director, Seller Acquisition and Development at Amazon India, the statement said: “This partnership marks our continued efforts to celebrate the rich tapestry of India’s handicrafts, empower and support socio-economic empowerment of tribal communities while preserving their traditional knowledge, skills, and cultural heritage. By joining hands with the Visakhapatnam Forest Tribals, and expanding our Karigar Programme’s reach, we are enriching the Amazon marketplace with authentic handcrafted products and upholding the legacy of age-old traditions. Together, we embark on a journey to create meaningful opportunities and preserve the invaluable traditions that define our nation’s soul.”

Anant Shankar, District Forest Officer, Visakhapatnam, said the Visakhapatnam division of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department is dedicated to improving the lives of local and forest-dependent communities through various initiatives.

“As facilitators, we aim to empower these communities through multiple collaborations and partnerships. Our collaboration with Amazon India will significantly benefit the tribal community residing in the heart of the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh. This partnership will enable them to showcase their craftsmanship to a broader audience, thereby enhancing their living standards. Amazon’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, is truly inspiring, and we look forward to working together, to create a brighter future for our communities,” Anant Shankar said.