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Netsurf’s initiative ‘ASMITA’ empowering women across India under CSR

New Delhi: ASMITA, as the name suggests is a women-oriented project of Netsurf Network, one of the leading direct selling companies. Under Netsurf’s CSR arm, the project has brought around 400,000 women, called ‘Asmitas’, on board.

With Netsurf’s colour cosmetics brand, “Rang De”, the company has taken the initiative to donate one pack of sanitary napkins to the women living in tribal areas, for every Rang De product sold.

With this, the number of sanitary napkins given by Netsurf to around 900 tribal women has reached 2000 in number.

The packaging surfaces of all products under Rang De range are utilized to showcase Indian tribal art forms like Madhubani, Tikuli, Bhil, and Warli. These are the actual paintings created by tribal artists from across India.

Netsurf will incorporate maximum possible tribal art forms in Rang De’s packaging in the coming future. With an aim to return back to society, Netsurf has taken a step further, especially for the women from deprived areas.

Transforming the lives of many women, Netsurf has created a wonderful opportunity to bring Asmitas on board as its direct sellers.

Direct sellers are the individuals who want to explore Netsurf’s direct selling business as their career. Direct sellers can avail multiple income opportunities in the form of different Commissions, Incentives, Rewards, and recognition.

These Asmitas have contributed 27.56% in Netsurf’s ’turnover in fiscal 2017-18.

Currently, the project is getting attraction from across the country including Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Thane, Solapur, Nagpur, Nashik, Satara. It has been flourishing gradually in different parts of Maharashtra also where women have fewer income opportunities to support their families by earning additional income.

Aiming to achieve the ideal 50:50 ratio of male and female direct sellers in next three years, the company has started a unique reward & recognition system especially for Asmita direct sellers, ‘Club Asmita’, for the exceptional work they have been doing and promoting them further in this business.

Speaking of products, most of the products are women-oriented. At present, Asmita’s are more involved in retailing personal-care, homecare, health care, and colour cosmetics ranges of Netsurf.

Under the leadership of Sujit Jain, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director (MD), Netsurf  Communications Pvt. Ltd. initiated its operations in India with organic farm care products, rightly foreseeing the future of the global environment. Gradually, Netsurf introduced 57 products ranging across health & wellness, personal care, colour cosmetics, home care and agriculture operating in633 districts and 5000 blocks.

“The overall direct selling space in India as well as worldwide is dominated by women. In India 58% of the direct sellers are women. However, till the year 2013, 80% to 85% of Netsurf Network’s direct sellers were Males, therefore introducing Project Asmita was a very thoughtful decision. The biggest challenge was to introduce the right products that Asmita’s could sell and to educate them about the products and to make the business model more welcoming to them. In addition to personal care and home care products, we recently launched a new range of Herbal Colour Cosmetics which is going to be a game-changer for Asmita direct sellers,” said Sujit Jain.

He further added that their efforts are paying off well, as today Asmita’s contribution in overall Netsurf’s turnover is 25-30%. While direct selling is still not considered as a serious career in India, they are proud of the fact that they have a good number of Asmita direct sellers & it’s great to see that these women are helping their families by providing additional income in rural areas as well as metros.

Insights from Asmitas:

  • Buddha Rani Limbua from Sikkim, initially a consumer of Netsurf products became a direct seller with Netsurf herself and started retailing the products in her social circle. She says, “Project Asmita justifies its objective of making business seamless and easy to do for women. Metro and cosmopolitan cities have ample career opportunities for women. However, the scenario is not the same with smaller cities. Project Asmita is a perfect option for women who are ambitious and want to create their identity irrespective of the area they live in. It makes them not only financially independent but a lot more confident and content in their life.”
  • Usha Bhanushali is an Asmita direct seller with Netsurf from Maharashtra. At present, she is very close to earning Rs 1 Cr in the business. Usha says, “I have a big team of Asmitas and my observation says that it makes them feel good about themselves. They learn, earn, become independent and eventually, it’s a very empowering experience. I know many Asmitas who equally contribute to the finances to run the family. It gives them a feeling that they are capable of making their own decisions and don’t have to depend on anybody.”
  • Vandana Khandare, is a make-up artist from Nagpur and runs her own salon. She says, “This project has transformed our lives in many ways. The comprehensive training programs not just taught us the intricacies of this business but we have learned life lessons too. The company imbibes an egalitarian culture, where women are respected and given equal opportunities, which is truly encouraging. Most importantly, we feel great about the fact that we are involved in the process of empowering other women by encouraging them to be independent.”
  • Kinjal Patel an Asmita direct seller from Ahmedabad says, “I want to tell them that it’s time to take your career seriously, even after your marriage and motherhood because it’s more than about just earning money. It’s about your self-esteem, getting recognised and feeling empowered. Especially when options like Asmita are available where you can choose your working hours, you can work from wherever you want.

 

 

 

 

Raghurajpur: The land of artists

ABOUT 20 minutes by road from Puri, in Orissa, lies a village called Raghurajpur, surrounded by thick groves of coconut palm trees. All the houses in the village run parallel to the banks of the Bhargabi river.  This village is India’s only village where everybody is an artist.  It is home to more than 300 artisans who practice various traditional art forms coming over generations.  These artists live in each of the 100 or so painted, yet modest, houses that face one another. The lane is entirely occupied by the series of temples dedicated to local deities.Pattachitra-painting-raghurajpur-960x506.jpg

The chitrakars(painters) from Raghurajpur is famous for their brightly colored mythological stories about Lord Jagannath and other deities.  It’s the most significant contribution of India’s cultural heritage is the Pattachitra painting. The famous painting Pattachitra comprises of two words- patta(canvas) and Chitra(picture), is a spectacular art form that Raghurajpur have for us. These paintings are made over a piece of cloth known as patta or dried palm leaf. It was originated in the 12th century. According to an artist, Pattachitras belong to the tradition of temple paintings which were used as decorative artefacts to adorn the sanctum sanctorum of temples. He further added that some artists, who are into mass production for commercial purposes, also employ stencils but that doesn’t affect the quality of work. These paintings are supposed to be painted with natural colours.pattachitra-craftsman-pooranchandra.jpg

Today, in addition to patachitra, Raghurajpur can claim to produce some of the most beautiful works in palm-leaf painting and etching, wood carving, papier-mache sculptures and stone carving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airforce martyr’s family keeping the dreams alive!

Poor children living in slum areas are rarely seen by anyone. These economically poor class are unfortunate enough to have two meals a day. It would be totally unfair to think of studying in this worst situation. Such poor children are encouraged to study and join the Indian Air Force by martyr’s squadron leader Shishir Tiwari’s family. On his son’s first death anniversary, he took the responsibility of giving a new direction to the society. Last year, on 6th October martyr Shishir’s family selected about 100 slum children living in the Yamuna Khaddar area of Delhi. Now, they are being taught in English medium.

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Squadron leader Shishir Tiwari of Indian Air Force was carrying some important stuff from a helicopter for the soldiers who were on duty at China border on 6th October 2017. In the middle of the journey, his helicopter got crashed and Shishir Tiwari martyred. His family resides at Amba Residency Society in Indirapuram. His father, Sharad Tiwari has opened a trust named,  “Martyr Squadron Leader Shishir Tiwari Charitable Trust” under which these children are given free education.

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Along with the studies, the trust also focuses on extracurricular activities of children and gives regular training in dance, painting and yoga to develop them in a wider way. “Studying all the time will make the children bore. So, it’s necessary for them to engage in other activities along with their studies”, said Sharad Tiwari. These children are also provided by copy, pen and other essentials needed for their studies. Their well-wishers and relatives are also helping them in this good work.

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“ I am ready to serve the country and for this, I am preparing to join the Air Force. My relatives are also accompanying me in this great work”, said Prakriti Tiwari, wife of Martyr Shishir Tiwari. Sharad Tiwari himself has served the country while working in the Air Force. He feels proud that his son is martyred while serving the country. He wants these slum children to go to the army and serve the country. For this, they are working to increase the morale of the children.

Residents irks as improper drainage causes waterlogging

Dhenkanal, a district which is nearly 80kms away from Bhubaneswar is surrounded by beautiful wild lives and forests but the residents of Dhenkanal is facing numerous problems including open garbage bins, coverless manholes, lack of sanitation, etc. Flies and mosquitoes are providing with some ambient humming every day due to which people are suffering from dengue. Besides, the water clogging near the main vegetable market is also a concern.

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People eating fruits and vegetables of this place are falling ill. When people head out, they are bound to be affected by the uncleanliness around them and fall ill, especially the vendors and grocers. “We don’t have a proper drainage system. It was the recent rains that have made us realise our plight after a public works department channel full of sewage overflowed and the water has entered our shops”, the shopkeeper said.” “Proper drainage system comes under the jurisdiction of municipality and PWD. They have already asked the municipality chairperson to solve the issues and construct a new drain. However, it will take some time depending on the allotment of funds and nature of work”, says sub-collector.

Cambridge to slums, man enlightens hundreds!

Rakesh Satpathy, at his ‘free school for poor’ Cuttack, Odisha is imparting education to many children in the slum areas of Cuttack. He has rented a house in college square at Cuttack where he teaches these children every single day, for last 16 years. His pedagogy also involves paintings, drawings and many artistic skills that can help them to earn their livelihood so that they can be engaged and self-reliant. He was barely 20 years old when he started teaching to these slum kids. The sight of poor and illiterate kids, begging and choosing odd jobs for survival, being the victims of child labour and child abuse has made him come up with a thought of imparting free knowledge to those innocents across Cuttack.

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His father had a government job but in 1992, due to some changes in the policies of the government, his job changed to the private sector. This job change led to several financial problems in the family. His salary was reduced to half. Rakesh was very keen to study science but due to lack of money, he chose to study arts in his graduation days. He used to go to coaching classes but was asked to leave the classes as he was unable to pay the fees. In order to get some money, he started working as a gardener in one of the nurseries. Since then, he wanted to do something for those kids who get deprived of the education.

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After completing his education, he joined the Cambridge School as a part of his project named- “Social Service Project”. As a part of this project, he developed his idea of teaching to slum kids. Once, he saw a girl working at a restaurant who was very much interested in studies but due to several issues she was unable to go to school and study. Rakesh helped the girl to study commerce and become a Chartered Accountant. After this, he made a thought of opening a coaching centre for the slum kids where he will teach them without any disturbance. Now it has been 16 years since the coaching centre “Sambhavna” has started. He managed the funds by giving half of his salary for the schooling of these slum kids. This small initiative has grown up now. The faculty members from Ravenshaw University also visits the coaching centre and imparts free education.

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According to him, “His ultimate goal is to impart free education everywhere so that nobody gets deprived of it. Knowledge is earned when you share it with others”. He has also worked as a social worker in orphanages, old age homes, etc.  As hard work never goes in vain, Rakesh is getting a tremendous response from the people of the slums. Many of them are now willing to educate and send their children to study rather than employing them for odd jobs. Many have gained profit from his teaching. His aim is to revolutionize education for as many poor children as he can.

 

17-year old Haryana girl scales Mount Kilimanjaro

A 17-year-old girl Shivangi Pathak from Haryana made India Proud after achieving another milestone in her life. She has added another feather to her cap by scaling Africa’s highest peak, “Mount Kilimanjaro”. Completing her mountain journey from the Marangu route in just three days, she lifted an Indian flag at the top of Africa’s highest point & tallest free-standing mountain in the world that stands at an imposing 5,895m.

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Inspired from Arunima Sinha, the first Indian amputee to climb Mt. Everest, Pathak has a very special message for everyone i.e. “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” which she wants to share with every individual of the country  to make them aware that nothing is impossible and women can overcome every obstacle easily to achieve their goals.

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With a view to sensitize and inspire women, She further says “Women can achieve anything if they desire. There is nothing that Indian Women can’t do. They are not the liability but they are the future of the country. Don’t stop on what you achieved but fight for more”.

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Titled with “The eagle of Mountain”, she is also the youngest Indian to scale the world highest peak “ Mount Everest” from Nepal side. Haryana has been blatant for its skewed sex ratio and patriarchal mindset and so Shivangi wanted to blur this picture and make her hometown, Hisar & Haryana, a famous place all over the world. She has also conquered Stok Khangri, a 6,053-metre peak in Ladakh.

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I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Winter Wedding Essentials: Fight between Indo-Western and Ethnic Wear ends here

It’s a high time of the year when quilts are being taken out from the shelves and your one cup of hot coffee converts into three mugs a day. It’s also the favourite season of the year as houses are being lit up with those fairy lights resembling that there is a wedding in the family. Winter weddings are always a great fun, especially when talking about the pleasant atmosphere, those incredible Bollywood beats and of course the mouth-watering hot food( adding spirit to the winter weddings). But there are challenges too in this wedding season when we talk about dresses and all, especially for the bride, keeping the temperature in mind.via winter wedding fashion essentials