The Real Changemakers – Transforming Tribal community

Working with the belief that growth opportunities should be accessible to marginal tribal community in remote Western Himalayas, Collective Efforts for Voluntary Action (CEVA) a non profit organization has established a rural mart under brand name Pangihills at Chamba (H.P.).

By Vasudha

The initiative taken by CEVA is empowering people, transforming lives by providing a better chance to earn livelihoods and improve current situation of community people. The tribal women from Self Help Group is playing a key role in this venture by successfully managing and running the mart and other women from the region are directly or indirectly engaged with the mart, which has bring the sense of economic independence among them. Before this venture, there was no marketing infrastructure no value addition and poor access to organized buyers were some of the major factors which prevented the producers from getting best value for a wide range of agriculture, horticulture, forest based produce. The mart is providing a platform for locally available indigenous products and manufactured items and adding economic value to goods and services contributed by the unprivileged tribal community. It is providing a wider market linkage to the valuable products of the Himalayan region.
Pangihills has played a significant role in facilitating the ways of sustainable livelihood and in the economic empowerment of tribal women through strong entrepreneurship which led to the development of the community as a whole.
Pangihills Rural mart is one of the best platform for the rural tribal people of Distt. Chamba in which around 6-8 thousand people are associated from various fields like artisan, farmer, weaver and tribal women through SHG are getting sustainable livelihood and their work is getting recognized all over. It has eliminated the role of middlemen. The payment system is ensured to be transparent at rural mart and these tribal people are getting payments directly in their bank accounts.
The hand holding support has given to tribal women under SHG scheme by facilitating them with the trainings in capacity building and skill enhancement which enable them to carry out various income generation activities.
Women are engaged in all activities such as weaving handloom and handicrafts, gathering, sorting, grading and packaging of all items and in the management of the mart. Apart from empowering tribal women, marginal farmers of the region are also getting strengthened through this venture.
The mart promotes an exquisite variety of unadulterated organic produce from organic farms, genuine home- made articles such as ghee, chamba Chukh, snacks, traditional handlooms, handicrafts, indigenous forest-based products such as honey, hazelnut, walnut, Kala jeera, Kesar, Shilajeet, Pulses, Red rice, herbal Tea and Himalayan herbs which are curative in nature.
The endeavour is also helpful in reviving the dying art of Chamba by promoting Chamba Rumal and Chamba Chappal. The mart aims to provide a market link, income generation and employment at grassroots.
The products which were earlier only confined to the region are now getting acknowledged and appreciated by urban masses and are in great demand.