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I am running a marathon to empower artisans and traditional crafts of Gujarat


A lot of people here in United States are frustrated with the slow pace of development in India and the lack of support for people in rural India. Being a developing nation, finding capital to start a small scale business is a major impediment. Often talented people in India are unable to realize their dreams coz they don’t have the kind of support a lot of us enjoy here in the Silicon Valley.
A few months back I came across this NGO named Milaap. Milaap means ‘Unity’. Their work inspired me. Every day, they connect hundreds of hardworking borrowers looking to start a small business, pay for education, install better facilities in their households, and more – with people around the world willing to lend and rally their friends and family with as little as Rs. 500 ($25).
A lot of professionals like me often have a decent amount of money lying in our bank accounts doing nothing. If we park a really small part of this money with Milaap(let’s say 100$), we might help change the life of someone some hard working, deserving poor and needy people. Milaap changes the concept of charity by not making this amount a donation, but giving it as a loan. This means at the end of the loan period(generally 1-2 years) you are paid back the exact same amount you invested. You have an option of transferring the money back to your bank account or relending it back to some other person in need. This helps in keeping the process sustainable. You don’t earn any interest on the loan and that’s how they are able to provide a loan to people at a sustainable rate.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted!”
Milaap does not take any cut from the funds you lend on Milaap. 100% of the amount you invest is given to the borrower. Instead, Milaap charges its field partners a 5% fee for the funds raised. This allows them to cover a fraction of our costs and work towards achieving self-sustainability.
“Don’t wait for leaders for charity, do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa
In a relatively short amount of time since its inception, Milaap has raised 1,198,342$ of money, disbursed 7,718 loans, impacted 42,009 lives and still achieved a 100% repayment rate.
“We make a living by what we GET, but we make a life by what we GIVE.” – Winston Churchill
On April 6th 2014, I am running a half marathon in San Francisco, CA to support Milaap’s cause. I hope this inspires my friends; family and anyone who reads this message to help deserving people in India achieve their dreams. Together we hope to invest a total sum of 1000$ for Milaap’s cause. As a personal contribution to the cause, I commit on MATCHING the investment to the cause. Every cent you invest would be PAID BACK TO YOU. It’s our responsibility to make the world a better place to live.
Chandrikaben comes from a family which has practiced Mashru-cotton crafts for generations in the Pattan district of Gujarat. Mashru cotton is known for its characteristic appearance of shining silk with the soothing feel of cotton. However, changing economic times led Chandrikaben, like many others to abandon this craft, and to venture out for a stable job. Gramshree, an NGO based in Gujarat, offered support and helped Chandrikaben get back to the craft nine years back. She spent the first three years just preparing the cotton rolls and learning to work on the equipment. Today, she spins the magic once again and makes fabrics come alive in a dazzle of colors.
Gramshree is providing many women like Chandrikaben with a complete ecosystem to revive such traditional crafts - training, raw materials, new-age designs, and critical marketing support. In the last 6 years, under their careful guidance Chandrikaben has not only contributed to the revival, she is now gearing up to establish her own micro-enterprise. Gramshree believes that an ecosystem of such grassroot entrepreneurs will become the catalyst for larger societal change one day. Your loans will help women artisans purchase raw yarn and additional equipment to increase their production. There are a few upcoming exhibitions which seek to showcase these age-old crafts and fabric weaving techniques. The loans will also help partly cover costs of transportation and marketing in the exhibitions.

Who we are helping

Shardhaben Patel Jantibhai
Pramilaben Vagela
Ansari Bhai

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raised of $1,000 goal

8 Supporters

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Supporters (8)

Montpelier lent Rs.4,500
Chandrika lent $25
Vinit lent $25