I. Organization Overview:
Established in 1978, Aarong is a fair trade organization dedicated to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their skills and craft. Reaching out to weavers, potters, brass workers, jewelers, jute workers, basket weavers, wood carvers, leather workers and more. Aarong embraces and nurtures a diverse representation of 65,000 artisans, 85% of whom are women. Today, Aarong has become the foundation upon which independent cooperative groups and family-based artisans market their craft, in an effort to position the nation’s handicraft industry on a world platform of appreciation and acknowledgement.
Aarong’s product designs has brought consumer attention back to the products and styles that are indigenous to Bangladesh, its designers blending the traditional with the contemporary in a manner that has won instant consumer appeal, starting a revolution in trends that has now been taken up by countless other boutiques and stores. Aarong’s product designs focus on the diverse types and textures of crafts and patterns that have been passed along from generation to generation among weavers and artisans in craft hubs around the country. Aarong also plays the role of protector and promoter of traditional Bangladeshi products and designs. Aarong began as a cause – a means to an end for a quiet organization fighting to uphold the dignity of the marginalised. In 1976, when BRAC- a Bangladeshi NGO dedicated to alleviating poverty and empowering the poor, first began encouraging sericulture for women in Manikganj, their only buyers were a few scattered retailers in Dhaka. Weeks, even months would pass between supply and payment, until BRAC intervened. Aarong was born out of a need to ensure that the penniless silk farmers of Manikganj were paid for their goods upon delivery, so that they could feed their families.
Today, Aarong's reach has spread beyond Manikganj to the rest of the country. It has grown into a thriving international enterprise showcasing ethnic wear to beautiful crafts from silks, handloom cotton, terracotta, bamboo, jute and much more. From a single shop, Aarong has grown into one of Bangladesh's biggest retail chains, with eight stores spread across the major metropolitan areas of the country - in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet and one in London, Equal Employment Opportunity in Aarong (Eusa)
UK. Holding steadfast to its original mission, Aarong today supports the lives and livelihoods of nearly sixty five thousand rural artisans and handicraft producers, 85% of who are women. More than forty thousand of these women work directly for Aarong in its 13 production centres in Baniachong, Gorpara, Jamalpur, Jessore, Kushtia, Manikganj, Rajbari, Sherpur, and Pabna, Pollobi, Kurigram, Nilphamary, Jhenaidah and 653 sub-centres spread across Bangladesh. Twenty five thousand independent cooperative groups and traditional family-based artisans also market their crafts through Aarong. Potters, Brass Workers, Jewellers, Jute workers, Basket Weavers, Handloom Weavers, Silk Weavers, Wood Carvers, Leather workers and various artisans with specialized skills from all over the country come to Aarong for marketing and support services.
Equal Employment Opportunity in Aarong (Eusa)
II. Introduction to the Report/Study:
II.1 Rationale for selection the topic:
Aarong symbolizes fairness in the global village. The organization has identified three basic constraints for gainful employment of the low income and marginalized people in the rural areas lack of working capital, marketing support and opportunity for skills development. In order to bridge these gaps, Aarong provides a wide range of services to its workers and suppliers:
Spot payment on product delivery to encourage efficiency and productivity
Reach out to producers in remote areas to ensure fair value for their efforts
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