HOW GOOGLE HAS CHANGED LIVES OF WOMEN

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    HOW GOOGLE HASCHANGED LIVES OF

    WOMEN IN KANGRA,HIMACHAL PRADESH

    Vivek Sharma, PGRDM

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    Organisation Profile

    Kangra Mahila Sabha (KMS) is anOrganization Registered under SocietiesRegistration Act,1860 and working in

    Himachal Pradesh, India since 1980. It has been active in social projects, womens

    role in governance, Self Help Groups (SHGs)promotion with support from reputedagencies like Central Social Welfare Board,NABARD, CAPART and District RuralDevelopment Agency.

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    Problems Faced

    After promotion of SHGs the main problem faced

    was linking them to income generation activity.

    No unique activity was present that could generate

    income for women based upon their skill level. KMS was constantly looking for options that could

    be replicated on large scale,

    had positive impact on environment

    increase income of the women in

    mountains.

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    Pine Tree

    Pine tree is present in these areas for more than100 years.

    The tree was introduced in India by British. It has little benefit for the local community and is

    considered to be nuisance because it causes forestfires and nothing grows under it.

    The pine needles when dry catch fire quickly andcannot be used as fodder.

    The only existing use in Himachal Pradesh was formulching. Some efforts were made to make briquettes but they

    failed on commercial scale.

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    Roadside littered withDry Pine Needles

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    In comes Google

    Then KMS came to know about Google Search and thatone can find solutions to problems on Google.

    The Secretary searched Google with words uses of pineneedles.

    The search revealed that Pine Needles are being woveninto baskets.

    The practice of making of handicrafts using pine needlesis prevalent in the USA, Canada, Mexico and SouthAmerica.

    Household items like baskets, bowls, trays, hats, tablemats, coasters, as well as decorative items that can beutilized in both rural and urban houses, aremanufactured and sold by villagers, providing muchneeded cash income to the rural families.

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    Search showing coiled pineneedle basket

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    Page 2 of same search

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    KMS saw an opportunity in the concept.

    KMS further downloaded the pictures of the

    products and further searched from list givenby Google for prices, technology involved,

    artists, dying the pine needles, instructions on

    how to coil, how to dry, how to add

    accessories (all taken from Google Searchand Picasa).

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    Search on Images

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    Search on Picasa

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    KMS found that these products sell inebay at price of $5- 50.

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    Rates of Pine NeedleBaskets on Ebay

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    Rates of Pine Needle Baskets

    on Ebay

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    Searching Google

    It also searched Google whether pine needle

    weaving was present in India by looking at

    Pages from India link.

    However it found that the skill was not

    present in India even though Pine Trees grow

    in States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu &

    Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, NortheasternStates.

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    Transfer for Skill

    Then KMS started inquiring whether women in

    Kangra would be interested in this skill.

    It found that some women already know

    weaving handicraft products from local grass.

    KMS showed the pictures downloaded from

    Google to these women and told them to make

    products. The women made bowls, trays, pots.

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    Women making Pine Products

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    Products made by women

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    Replication of Skill

    The products were shown to District Rural

    Development Agency, Kangra & Chamba

    who has agreed to support training of 1500

    women in the skill.

    The women are happy that they have a new

    skill at their disposal.

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    Future Plans

    KMS plans to assist the women in furtherdesigning the products for export market aswell as local and household use.

    It is proposed that a website will be made forthese women and women will be made into acooperative.

    KMS also plans to take the skill to women ofother Pine Present States in India like Jammu& Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Sikkim,Northeastern States

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    KMS Thanks Google for its usefulness and

    assisting in transforming lives of mountain

    women.

    It is only through Google that this skill is

    transferred to Women otherwise till date

    nobody thought of the use. Google has

    helped in bridging the Global Gap.

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    For further information

    President

    Kangra Mahila Sabha

    Village & Post Office Rait

    Tehsil ShahpurDistrict Kangra

    Himachal Pradesh

    Email: kmshimachal@rediffmail.com,

    kmshimachal@gmail.comwww.kmshimachal.org

    Phone 01892-238337, 09816883734

    mailto:kmshimachal@rediffmail.commailto:kmshimachal@gmail.commailto:kmshimachal@gmail.commailto:kmshimachal@rediffmail.com