In 1998, The Kishkinda Trust founder , Mrs. Shama Pawar established a banana fibre craft initiative in the historic settlement of Anegundi, Hampi WHS. Her focus was on developing local livelihood opportunities for women, based on the natural ecology of the region.
Blending locally available materials and skills that could be strengthened shama developed a range of ‘banana fibre products’, today TKT’s banana fibre unit has grown from its original group of 8 women, to supporting the livelihoods of around 150-200 women, many of whom are the second generation of weavers/artisans to be working with the organization.
There are currently three units of banana fibre production, which include a rope making unit, a domestic market craft unit and an export unit named as ‘TIKAU’ which works with a market linkage partner from Finland
TKT aims to build capacity of the women at the grassroots level, to run the production units themselves, and has recently established the ‘Hari Dharti‘ cooperative, to help transition the units to being owned and managed by the artisans.
All proceeds from product sales, support these livelihood initiatives and help the women of the village to earn an independent income, while also creating a space, where they can work together, share their experiences and learn from one another as a family, and this reflects the core values of creativity, friendship and community that underpin all of TKT’s initiatives.