Artisan Impact: Tara Project, India
In the late 1960s, Professor Shyam Sharma founded TARA Projects as a commitment to Trade Alternative Reform Action. Sharma traveled from village to village near Delhi, providing loan funds and skills training to a few small marginalized communities. One of the first organizations in India to pursue fair trade practices, Tara supports production of artisan handcrafts and marketing to a global audience. Benefits to artisans include shared profits, fair wages, savings plans, interest-free loans, health programs, technical courses for women to upgrade their skills, and adult literacy programs. This activist organization has become a leading voice in unfair trade practices and the movement opposing child labor in India, and offers scholarships and opportunities to help children stay in school. Over the years, Tara has extended their services to reach over 500 artisans in several states in India.