Tribal communities of HD Kote Taluk have been uprooted twice from their homes in the last 50 years due to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 & construction of the Kabini Dam in the mid-'80s. Both events virtually destroyed the means of livelihood of these indigenous populations. The Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a non-profit organization, is trying to mitigate this forceful disturbance by training the local youth & women in practical skills and by nurturing tribal-owned entrepreneurial ventures so they can lead a life of dignity through sustained means of earning.
Why Support Totally Tribal?
Started in June of 2018, we are five tribal women of Yarava, Kadukuruba & Sholiga Tribes of Nagarhole forests who learned tailoring skills & set up our self-help group (SHG), Prakruthi Girjana Mahila Okuta. We are the women of the brand Totally Tribal. Our business is helping us achieve our dream of building dignified livelihoods for ourselves and our families, as well as letting us express our creative talents through blending our tribal heritage and values with trendy modern tailoring skills. We started the SHG due to our need for an additional source of income for our households, and when it became apparent that our tailoring training was not being fully utilized in our current lines of work as laborers or housewives. With the support of SVYM, we were able to create a business plan and begin producing handbags and palazzos within six months of our group’s mobilization. Despite the fact that we have been hard at work and have finally begun to earn income, it is still not enough; the reality is that we are often the sole providers of our families and are struggling to make ends meet. In addition to these financial pressures, we experience pressure from our families to take up demanding jobs as laborers for a consistent income, leading us to have to work long days at both the fields and the tailoring unit. In the end, tailoring is the type of work that we enjoy doing, and our hope is that eventually we can expand our business, get more women involved, and be able to earn a living off of a profession that makes us and our families proud.
-The Women of Gramodyaga Utpannagala Tyarika Kendra Tailoring Unit-