SKILLED SAMARITAN FOUNDATION

The problem

We read somewhere that an estimated 100 million marine animals die each year due to discarded plastic. It is evident that action is needed on multiple fronts. One of the keys areas for direct concern is that just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally makes its way to recycling plants, and only 9% is actually recycled. Meanwhile, a third is left in fragile ecosystems, and 40% ends up in landfill.

So, how did we end up here? Cheap, flexible and multipurpose plastic has become the ubiquitous material of today’s fast-moving economy.

Our contribution to the solution

Skilled Samaritan was founded in 2012, where we worked closely with local communities in Northern India, to successfully implement solar lighting solutions, creating an impact on almost 10,000 lives.

Having spent almost decade in these villages, we discovered a major challenge of industrial plastic waste being dumped into these villages, that was being incinerated or thrown in the local water bodies, affecting the health of our people. Skilled Samaritan has discovered innovative ways to convert pre-consumer plastic waste and excess fabric waste from the fashion industry, into usable ropes,that can be woven to make beautiful products.

These products are handmade by disadvantaged women creating a direct ripple effect on employment to provide income generation to thousands of women and some men from these villages.

Our hope

Our mission is to combine revival of traditional craft, to hand craft functional yet beautiful pieces and products of every-day use, by reusing waste plastics and fabrics, and recognising skill-sets of artisans from our existing project sites to create a model of holistic community development.

The start of our journey: Village Sirohi

Steeped in history and age-old traditions, Sirohi is an arcadian village surrounded by dramatic magnificent scenery and artificial lakes, located amidst the Aravali hills of Haryana. With a population of almost 3500 individuals living in 370 homes, Sirohi was a hidden charm that Skilled Samaritan put on the map 2 years ago when it lit the village with solar lights.

Sirohi's dreamy lakes, the fragrance of its wild herbs, and the slow crash of the Aravalis all combined for a romantic aura in the village that lit in us a unique sense of creativity.

Our focus moved to design and craft after we spent half a decade in these villages, where we hand-picked artisans from the interiors of Northern India  to revive and re-introduce age old forms of weaving and Indian designs to develop products using Chindi (cloth rags) from the heart of Rajasthan and pre-consumer waste plastic from the dusty hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh.

....a combination of traditional techniques, waste materials and fascinating artisanal skill, our hope is to instil values that make talented individuals India's Skilled Samaritans!