Beedi industry is the second largest industry in Solapur.
There are 115 units of 29 various beedi factories. In these 115 units there are about 70,000 lady workers like Mamata.
These beedi-rollers are constantly exposed to tobacco dust and hazardous chemicals. They experience health hazards like tuberculosis, asthma, menstrual irregularities, pregnancy problems, anemia, and eye problems. Despite of the health hazards, most of the workers are compelled to continue the same work as there is no other source of income.
Not all of them are as privileged as Mamata.
Mamata and her 30 beedi-roller friends make paper and cloth bags instead of beedis. They earn average Rs. 100-150 daily. The amount they earn by making 100 bags is same as they used to earn by making 1000 beedis. This alternative source of income is provided by Jnana Prabodhini, Solapur (JPS). “Thanks to Jnana Prabodhini that I could completely stop making beedis. I’m happy with this new work. Now, I can spend more time with my kids, earn better and live healthier life.”, says Mamata.
JPS has taught Mamata and her friends the skills to make bags. JPS also provides them the raw material and takes care of marketing and sales of the finished products. Along with bag-making, these ladies also attend Pranayama classes which helps them stay energetic throughout the day. They are also the members of small saving groups started by JPS. Some of these ladies are addicted to tobacco. JPS conducts de-addiction program for such ladies and also provides nutritious food to their children.
Jnana Prabodhini is a social & non-political organization headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra. A branch of Jnana Prabodhini is active in Solapur district from 1990's. Besides its well-known pre-primary, primary and secondary school, and pre-primary teachers’ training school in Solapur city, it also runs a number of service activities for the socially deprived.
JPS has run an effective vocation rehabilitation program and a medical centre for the earthquake struck people in Osmanabad district. At present it runs a primary and a secondary school in the same area.
JPS has also run a massive literacy campaign for Solapur city and started the first rehabilitation center for child labours.
On a 20-acre land on Solapur-Pune Road, JPS has launched a rural development program including vocational and agriculture training. It also has plans to conduct health and motivation building programs so that the rural youth participants may change the visage of their own villages. JPS also wants to start free hostel facility for needy students from North-East Indian states.
JPS also runs 5 enrichment centres for slum-dweller children. It conducts various activities like sports, story-telling, group-singing, reading-writing skills and study-skills through these centres and also provides them nutritious food.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, JPS helped 1500+ poor and needy families by providing daily ration and medicines. It also provided ready-to-eat food to seniors citizens and migrant-labours. It organized blood donation camps and vaccination camps.
JPS needs your help to continue these welfare activities.
Every good work needs financial support to be continued and expand. Your contribution will enable the volunteers of JPS to concentrate on their work without worrying about finances. Please support this campaign and bring small joys in the lives of more and more people who are socially, educationally and financially deprived.