SHARE was registered in 1991 but has been working under different registration (as a cooperative) in this area since the 1970s. SHARE has village handicraft production centers primarily palm and coir in 27 villages and employs over 800 women. It is a hybrid between a traditional handicraft producer cooperative and an activist organization. SHARE solicits orders for crafts, arrange for raw material, and provides advanced craft training, and comes up with new designs for crafts, which are produced in centers in each village(national and international sales are about 35 lakhs).
In addition, through a combination of the organization’s own profits and funds it raises from foreign groups, it offers other services, e.g. balwadis, scholarships, etc. It does a particularly impressive job of fostering leadership among the organization’s members. The executive committee, composed entirely of craft- women, plays a critical role in guiding the organization. The organization’s leaders have gained such stature in the community that 9 have recently been elected to the panchayat raj. SHARE has been active in income-generation schemes for women and their empowerment. The group has done exemplary work in promoting the handicraft producing cooperatives amongst several villages and fostering leadership amongst the village community.
Palm leaf products