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Empower marginalized Community: Clean clothes, clean village, soft hands

Ein Projekt von Arohana Seva Foundation
in Thanjavur , Indien

Rajalashmi, a traditional washerwoman needs £3000 to purchase a low-end industrial washing machine that will help to set up a village laundry service, catering to the needs of her entire village and consistently improve the livelihood of the family.

Berlin N.
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Über das Projekt

Problem statements
- Washerwomen (Dhobi) based in rural India live in extreme poverty
- They wash clothes with their own hands and it's physically demanding and time consuming
- They belong to a very low class and are marginalized in the community
- They inherited the activity from their parents. it has been going generation from generation and they think their future is stuck with the hand washing and limited capacity
- They are becoming old and do not see a way out of poverty through this business even though there is substantial demand.
- Their children do not have access to education and it's their dream to make it happen
- Their current traditional washing method has a huge environmental effect which in return affect their health

Objectives of the project
- Empower the marginalized washerwomen community by upgrading their washing system with semi-entry washing machine
- Establish Equality where social discrimination still high
- Dhobi Save time, engage with other Revenue Generation activities
- Save existing source of water and reduce environmental effect
- Support this community in developing their business in a sustainable way, create a saving plan and secure the education of the future generation

First Beneficiary of the project
Rajalashmi and her husband inherited the laundry business from their parents. They live in Thachankurchi, a small village in Tamil Nadu, India. Rising income levels, growing aspirations meant that that there is a growing demand for their services. Rajalakshmi’s income has stagnated as there is a physical limit to how many clothes can be washed. Also, the family has grown from 3 to 7 pushing them into poverty. It’s challenging to cover the daily expenses. Feeding the children is a priority, while their education is not assured. 

Role and Responsibility of Arohana Seva Foundation
- Run the research, identify and review candidates
- Ensure the installation of the washing machine
- Develop basic management tools for Dhobi Entrepreneurs
- Educate and support Dhobi Entrepreneurs in Business Development
- Assist the Entrepreneur in creating a saving plan
- Track and measure the impact of the project

Role and Responsibility of Dhobi Entrepreneur
- Make the minimum investment required before the installation of the washing machine 
- Create a clear Business Development plan for the service and expansion in neighbor outlets
- Use tools, materials and training provided by Arohana Seva Foundation for the proper running of the project
- Create a saving plan 
- Maintain the equipment as recommended by the manufacturer
- Provide business data and information to Arohana Seva Foundation for impact analysis

Total budget: £6100 
Arohana Seva Foundation contribution: £1000, 
Local Associations contacted by Arohana: £ 2000 and the 
Current need: £3000 

This project is supported by the Maecenata Foundation, Munich/Berlin: