The Nilgiris is a biosphere reserve (declared by UNESCO) and is part of the western ghat in southern India. It is the largest protected forest area in India, spreading across three states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. An ecosystem of the hill ranges of Nilgiris and its surrounding environments covering a tract of over 5000 square kms was constituted as Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in September 1986. It is India’s first and foremost biosphere reserves. The Nilgiris is home to numerous indigenous people living alongside the wild, scattered far and wide across.
The people of The Nilgiris have lived in harmony with the forest for centuries and agriculture has been their main occupation. This includes foraging in the forest for natural produce such as honey, spices, etc. In the guise of development and subsequent tourism interest, the traditional ways of life has been severely impacted. It is still being practiced and kept alive in pockets but, the livelihood of these people is a serious question.
IndianYards™ up-skills women from these communities to be fine macrame artisans and subsequently empowers them towards becoming independent producer groups. We train them free of cost and then provide them with all the material they need to produce. We then buy-back the produce at a fair price thereby enabling them with a steady livelihood.
This initiative isn’t just about making and selling products but a medium through which women from similar walks of life or communities come together, learn, share and flourish. This is a means to providing these women a collective strength through the process of handcrafting.