Campaign | Fall 2017
Most rural women Phulkari artisans in Punjab’s Patiala-Nabha area tend to be either school dropouts or have never been to a mainstream school. They cannot print their names and often use their thumbprint as a signature. Lack of basic numeracy skills further exacerbates issues linked to confidence, self esteem and ability to negotiate with professional Phulkari buyers and boutique owners from the nearby urban areas. This situation often leads to an exploitative dynamic based on haggling and bargaining - and the artisans / self help groups are unable to fetch fair value for the hard work put in.
In Fall of 2017, The Virsa Foundation’s associates in Punjab, India conducted our first workshop in Village Jahlan. Amongst several topics covered were - How to negotiate with confidence, How to calculate the fair price for their work using Cost-plus Pricing, How to determine an hourly wage for themselves based on seniority, skill-set and creativity of the artisan and how to be prepared and assertive in buyer interactions. 25 Artisans from Village Jahlan participated in this workshop.
The Virsa Foundation’s India Director Dr. S Jaswal interacts with Artisan Mrs. Bhupinder Kaur, who runs her Self Help Group in Village Jahlan