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How we do what we do

Chhoti Si Asha’s endeavor is not just to help build economic livelihoods, but also the self-empowerment of everyone who comes together as part of this journey. Our endeavour is not just to work towards a material end goal, but to use this ‘coming together’ to cultivate self-awareness and a greater spirit of camaraderie. 

Coming of this ethos, our aspiration is to work with the community, as opposed to work for them – and we try therefore to do everything with love, acceptance and collective participation. 

Here are some of the ways we work with the community – 

  • Our roadmap is shaped by the needs of the community we work with and they play a leading role in the inception of various social programs. In the past, Hamara Bank and Badlaav were incepted by community members based on needs identified by them. In recent years, the community working together incepted a computer training program for adolescents as also a mentorship program called Ek aur Ek.

  • In Ek aur Ek mentorship program, about 15-20 adolescent youths (age 16 and above) living in village colonies were connected with the larger community of Chandigarh, for a one-on-one mentorship related to helping them make better career choices.

  • We try to leverage the craft skill-set that community women already have (such as stitching, knitting, crochet, sujha work, panja dari, weaving etc). Using such skill sets, we design and create contemporary products.

  • We put significant focus on delivering high-quality merchandise. As part of the training process, women from the community visit high end craft stores such as FabIndia to understand the market quality metrics.

  • We lay emphasis on furthering life skills of the community we work with. We hold programs on subjects such as conflict management, team work and community leadership. We encourage members to support each other’s journey, operate with fairness and make positive contribution to one’s community.

  • We encourage transparency at work, including sharing cost and price details related to the work orders we receive. 

  • We believe in empowering people we work with. Today, the core team of Stitch-a-Living program comprises of women from the local community, who have been working with the program for a few years. These members entirely manage the day-to-day functioning of the workshop and train new team members.

  • Aside of livelihood programs, we also emphasize on "having a good time" and celebrate festivals, birthdays and important milestones with much gusto!