At Janapada Khadi, empowerment is not assessed based on monetary gains, but on the personal and spiritual transformations experienced by both the maker and the buyer.
A maximum limit is fixed over production, a marked departure from the ‘target’ based approach our urban workforce is trapped into. Craftspersons at Janapada Khadi are actively discouraged from producing more than optimum quantity. Therefore, there is work-time flexibility and the craftsmen have more control over their lives. In contrast, modern production system fixes minimum targets for workers. Their lives are controlled by the demands of unlimited material production, and the greed of corporate expansion. They become a cog in the wheel and lose their freedom. In short, autonomy of a craftsperson is accorded the highest value at Janapada Khadi, thereby freeing them from the cycle of exploitation and poverty.
Since there is a limit on production, workers are encouraged to engage in intellectual activities along with physical work. Everyone exercises their mind and body which is central for improving human personality. In contrast, modern production systems distance intellectual work from physical work where former is recognized as superior to the latter. The result is a conspicuous disparity between ‘white collar’ and ‘blue collar’ workforce. At Janapada Seva Trust, the workers are involved in both physical and intellectual work. They participate in monthly theatre classes, book reading sessions, potluck, documentary screenings and discussions along with their routine physical work. Once a year they stage a theatre production, and go on an exposure trip.
A maximum limit of 50 people is set over the size of the enterprise which operates on human scale to maintain a participatory, inclusive and democratic atmosphere at work. Thus everybody is involved in the decision making process.
Workers are also investors in the enterprise. The enterprise is owned by the producers themselves. By giving back to the enterprise, workers begin to cultivate a sense of ownership. This frees them from ideas of enslavement, not only in theory, but also in practice.
There is a set ratio between the highest paid and lowest paid to curb income inequality.
A living income is assured for workers, decided collectively by the workers themselves, as opposed to ‘minimum wages’, imposed patriarchally on the working class with least or no appreciation of their realities.
Although Janapada khadi is certified by KVIC (Khadi and village industries commission), Govt of India, we don’t take any financial assistance from the state. This makes the enterprise autonomous.
The enterprise is run in the true spirit of khadi and depends on patrons like yourself to sustain itself.