Naya Women’s Paper Recycling Business in Mumbai slums
GPM's new women’s empowerment program is not only sustainable but also good for the environment.
Naya is a new innovative, grassroots paper recycling initiative aimed at empowering women to improve their community environment in the Mumbai slum of Kalwa. Naya, which means “new” in Hindi and which is run and implemented by women in the slums under GPM supervision, takes waste paper and turns it into paper products such as notepads, printing paper, coasters. The women employed in the initiative are locally trained in recycling waste paper and creating beautiful new pieces using imagination and skill.
Sales of these products will support the initiative, as well as develop facilities and awareness around waste and recycling within the slum. The recycled-paper products are sold to local offices, hotels and businesses.
The project, launched on 10 August 2016, supports the community, cleans up the area, and promotes eco-friendly business. It is a sustainable social enterprise, empowering local women who also become ambassadors for recycling and cleanliness in the slum, improving the lives of the 200,000 people currently living in Kalwa.
The program was developed by Pears-JDC fellow Adit Goshalk from the UK.
Adit, 29, joined GPM as a Pears sponsored JDC fellow for the year and worked half of the time with JDC and half of the time with GPM. Her passions are Art and development work, and she is an artist and art teacher in a Jewish school the UK. She has held many education related positions in development including a previous stint in Jaipur India and programs at Tzedek UK.
After months of speaking with people in the local community and working with GPM-JDC Entwine volunteers in the slums as part of her fellowship, she has combined these two passions of art and development to create the unique Naya program. The program takes two major challenges – women’s empowerment and environment – and combines them with a huge dollop of creativity. Scraps of paper are converted by women to develop useable products for sale to local businesses. The business has th potential to be self-sustaining and scalable, a fantastic model of socially—conscious business.
"My experiences this year in India and my work with the children and adults in the UK have shown me the powerful potential that the arts can have to make positive change", said Adit. "The Naya initiative brings together creativity and development, making something new and beautiful from what was once waste while empowering women to improve their lives and those within their community. I am thrilled to see the impact that we have had already and I cannot wait to continue this progress!"
GPM received initial funding from Paperback (a London-based, recycled paper supplier) to start the project and has already received three small orders for products from a hotel and local businesses.
However, we need your help to get Naya fully sustainable by the end of 2018.
The program costs only about $450/month [Total: $8,500]
Please help support Naya by donating HERE.