Dreams empower us with an extensive expanse of responsibilities embedded within them. These responsibilities, when identified, play a pivotal part in shaping up views and vision in us.
The entire essence of Aastha Foundation lies in its definite purpose and vision. We know that societies recurrently evolve with different exactitude and specificity to keep pace with different times. In the process, every layer and aspect of a social set-up goes through ceaseless churns and changes. Today, when we are passing through the age when information and specific skills have emerged as the real powers and India has surged ahead of many countries on the yardsticks of development, there are still some people here, away from opportunities. A big chunk of people, nearly 23% of our population, lives below the poverty-line. Knowing that we can't reach each one of them and merely doling out benefits to them is not the proper solution, we chose to equip them with professional skills and need-based support to get them into mainstream mode of life.
Founded in the year 2005, Aastha Foundation has been on a journey where the journey itself holds a lot more meaning than any destination. Working as a true NGO, we have been consistently investing our efforts to uplift the under-privileged and unemployed people and executing certain responsibilities towards them in a regularized manner. We have been organizing social events, social projects, fundraising activities, medical camps, material support programme etc. Social services of every kind have figured high on our agenda. Ensuring the participation of underprivileged and talented poor people in different activities, launched by us, has been central in our mechanism.
Aligned with our vision revolving around self-sufficiency, our initiative, namely Self Help, for women and rural artisans, has been a prime part of our itinerary over the years. We all very well know that women in India still perceptibly lag behind in education, entrepreneurial life or in terms of various economic opportunities. Secondly, India has been one country which has been extremely rich in traditional skills of handicraft, art-work, handloom, karigari, carvings and many more for centuries. But, rural artisans' limited reach owing to the lack of suitable showcasing platforms and different other inefficiencies in the system have restricted these people to shape their skills into a swift business for themselves. The core objective of Self Help has been to train and empower these under-privileged and poor artisans, especially women, with the handicraft-skills. We also play a perfect bridge between these artisans and their prospective customers by taking their products to them, thereby generating income for all those disadvantaged people. Today, we have a huge repository of skilled artisans who create world-class handcrafted jewellery, fashion accessories and textile-materials. In fact, to grab a global market for these top-tier products, we started our own manufacturing house with a brand-name SINI in the year 2011. In a short span of time, SINI has transformed into a huge platform and income-generator for rural handicraft artisans and carved a definite place in the global market of handcrafted fashion accessories and textiles.
Under-privileged and disadvantaged people don't only imply lack of income. They also mean lack of information, lack of knowledge, lack of self-sufficiency and lack of opportunities. Aastha Foundation is well on its way to empower them with skills, opportunities and enthusiasm. We open up channels for them to progress. We equip them to participate in different affairs of society. We understand them in the true sense by working in tandem with them, from the very process to the actual acquirement of benefits which they deserve. We have taken a small step towards generating a world of possibilities for these marginalized people. But, we hold firm confidence and conviction in the potential and promise of our big objective.