Making a brand out of the basket

Preeti Mehra | Updated on January 24, 2018

D power: Aamir Khan launches the brand in September 2014

Dignity & Design provides livelihood to scavengers

When scavengers burnt their baskets in a symbolic gesture to end the centuries-old scourge, a brand emerged to restore their dignity and enhance their security by offering a viable livelihood.

In September 2014 actor Aamir Khan coined the name ' Dignity & Design' and formally launched the brand. Liberated women scavengers along with Jan Sahas turned it into a private limited company that would market products made by its members.

Mobilizing the women through self-help groups and cooperatives, Dignity & Design makes garments, spices, nutrimixes and agarbatti (incense sticks).

To test the waters, it had tied up with the Tata Tea Gaon Chalo initiative to market the company's products to rural consumers. It had also tapped ITC Limited to build its agarbatti business.

Today, it has initiated a Garima kitchen spices brand in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with women cleaning, grinding and packing chillies, turmeric, coriander and other spices. Its agarbatti brand Avinav is also on the cards.

Dignity & Design sees high potential in the garment business and is busy training women in cutting, stitching and designing. It is also busy executing its first order that comprises 200 pairs of baby booties for the Gendercide awareness project in the US. The order has to be delivered in August.

At present Dignity & Design has nine production units, incense sticks and spices at eight locations in three districts of Madhya Pradesh. The company plans to promote livelihood for over 5,000 liberated scavenger women and will up scale upthis model with government programmes and the private sector.

Published on June 22, 2015

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