The grassroots movement is a uneconomic way of alleviating poverty. Helping the individual does not help the group whereas helping the group does help the individual.
It is impossible for eastern design to flourish in a global economy without western help.
Supporting women in developing countries is an effective way of alleviating poverty. Design and craft is an easy way to do this and it also helps to keep local traditions and art forms alive.
Design solutions are thought of as products that have been created to solve a problem, but what about design as the solution? In many developing countries, not just India and Pakistan, women are not valued. It’s not just that they are not equal to men, but that they have little to no worth. It is an idea that is so entrenched into the society it is difficult to change.
There are however many NGOs working in India that aim to give the women of these countries a means to create an income for themselves. These organisations mainly aim at teaching women local craft techniques and then helping them sell these products on a local or international scale. Giving women a way to create an income and gain some independence not only helps to alleviate them from poverty, but also changes society’s view of women and also the women’s view of themselves.
Craft and local weaving technique are not only used as a means to create an income for local women but it is also a form of art activism. The designer Archana Kumari uses her artwork as a means to create awareness of the issues that surround women in India such as domestic violence, female infanticide, rape and child brides. By creating awareness of the issues that surround women in India there is hope that these issues will be faced.