NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 7, 2013 (The Hindu): A technical design intervention by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has helped the rural women in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan engaged in fabrication of tulsi malas (a string of 108 beads for chanting a mantram) boost their production and earn a better livelihood by introducing advanced machinery. The IIT’s help has benefited around 2,000 women in the region.
The Rural Technology Upgradation Unit of IIT Delhi was recently contacted by Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation, a public service institution working in Bharatpur, for its inputs into old machines used by women for producing tulsi malas. The old machines involved a high degree of labor with an uncomfortable sitting posture, while production of the product remained low.
Tulsi mala production provides livelihood to women mainly in Kaman, Deeg, Nadbai and Kumher tehsils of Bharatpur district. The location of temple towns such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon and Barsana near Bharatpur ensures a good demand and consumption of tulsi malas throughout the year.
Women could fabricate 30 to 40 tulsi malas with the old machines and make a profit between Rs.60- Rs.80 (US 92c to $1.23) a day after their routine expenditure. They were facing problems of low production and physical pain while working on these machines.
Sita Ram Gupta, executive director of the Foundation, points out that the new machines are capable of enhancing the production of tulsi malas four-fold and provide a comfortable posture for operating them. With each machine, women are now able to prepare beads for 200 to 250 malas everyday and fabricate the final product into different designs.