In the Malda District of West Bengal in India, poverty is not just a word it’s a way of life. UNCIEF reported that is has the high rates of child marriages in India, and it’s not unheard of for parents to try and sell their own children. Child labour is common and trafficking poses a high threat. In 2013 more than 13,000 women and children went untraceable. Unsurprisingly Women and children are the worst affected due to lack of education and work opportunities.

The Project:

Tzedek’s many year partner ERDS is providing 50 women with craft training, a micro credit loan and adequate knowledge to channel their income into profitable investment. The beneficiaries will become self-dependent, enhance their income and raise their living standards.


The women are currently living below the poverty line of £1 per day. By manufacturing their own goods and generating an income it will take them above the poverty line.  The regular income will help the women feed their families, pay for medical care and education expenses. This will create a future for their children and reduce child marriages and trafficking. The micro credit loan will be repaid at the due dates and a revolving fund will be available to provide training for more women.

A day in the life:

Basanti Mahali comes from a very poor family living in Ekandor village in Bengal, India. Her husband is an experienced rural artisan and makes Bamboo craft and sales it at markets. Basanti wants to support her husband by helping him and so is eager to join the training programme. They are extremely poor and do not have a toilet. Her dream is after completion of training would be to produce more bamboo craft and with the extra income construct a toilet.

The project cost £6404 over one year