What We Do ?
the ant works directly in around 220 villages across 6 work clusters in Chirang District – bordering Bhutan - of BTAD in Assam, mainly with the poorest and marginalised in villages, irrespective of community, class or religious affiliations. Its activities can be divided into 6 thematic areas:
Started as a weaving programme of the ant in 2002, aagor daagra afad (called aagor) is now registered as a separate entity with its own management and funds but still organically linked and promoted by the ant. Aagor gives work to over 150 poor women weavers who weave from their home. They also run an in-house weaving centre which gives young women who have been housemaids a chance you to earn and break free from their bondage through weaving. In Last FY 2014-2015, Aagor clocked sales of 1 Crore rupees and distributes wages of approx Rs.26 lakh rupees to local women weavers.
aagor has become a well-known brand in handicraft fair and melas across India and also in many stores. It’s beautiful handwoven kurtas, shirts, tops, skirts, stoles, jackets etc. are much sought and appreciated.
Sh. Rahimal Narzary (Manager)
Aagor Daagra Afad
Chirang District via Bongaigaon
BTAD, Assam – 783380
Rahimal’s Mobile: 99540-98578/ 96131-75570
It is not enough that we ants do our microscopic village level work and then magically wait for huge social change to happen. We know we will need many thousands of development organisations and a strong voluntary sector to start making and feeling a difference. Thus, apart from our own village level work, we have set ourselves a mandate of supporting and building up the voluntary sector in the northeast.
Our training institute IDeA has been set up just for that. In 2012 alone, IDeA trained over 800 trainees from various organizations in Assam and also other parts of the northeast. Apart from short courses of 3-5 days on various topics, we have been running Long Courses for selected partner NGOs.
IDeA now has over 30 active partner NGOs from various parts of Assam whom it has taken through an intensive 8 - 9 months training (classes were held in short phases with hand holding support in the field by our faculty). Even after the trainings have ended, these partners themselves took the initiative to come together to form a mutual support group called the “Forum of Voluntary Organisations in Assam”. They are our strength if ant has to reach out to any part of Assam or of the Northeast and even do work on a much larger scale than we are currently doing.
The Ants Craft Trust, registered as a Public Charitable Trust in 2009 at Bangalore is an offshoot of the ant.Its mandate is to showcase the handlooms and crafts mainly of the northeast not just to generate and sustain livelihoods but also to stress on the positive features of the people and communities living in the northeast. It has taken over the reins of the Ants Store at Indiranagar, Bangalore from the ant as one of its first activities and is also assisting the ant in running its “northeastising the mainstream” project at its premises. Check out details of the ant store and buy our products online at the store's very beautiful website : theantsstore.com
Overview of the ant store:
The Ants Store is located in Indiranagar, Bangalore. It houses a wide range of exquisite products like pottery, apparel, jewellery, baskets, etc. sourced mainly from NGOs across the northeast. It also housesa small cafe that not only serves some freshly ground bean coffee but also serves mouthwatering continental dishes and thirst quenching cool beverages. very tastefully done up, The Ants Cafe also provides a space to conduct events like book readings, film screenings, food festivals, musical evenings, etc that introduce the soft power of the northeast people.
We have a inhouse design team which works alongwith the crafts groups and imparts design development appropriate to today’s market trends. We also have an inhouse marketing team which provides the crafts groups with larger marketing opportunities.We work closely with our customers and provide them with the highest quality of designs and products.
The Ants Crafts Trust has a young design team that works with crafts groups and infuses design innovations. This enables traditional motifs woven deftly on simple looms to suit urban lifestyles in India and abroad. The designers’ inputs ensure that the craft survives and thrives. Their young modern sensitivities also help the remote communities to contemporize their traditions.
TACT : Objectives of The Ants Craft Trust
• To preserve and promote the social and economic wellbeing of weavers & craftspersons from the poorest classes of society, especially of tribals, through marketing of handicrafts, skill up gradation and other activities like education and health that are necessary for the same.
• To create a space exclusively for crafts and textiles from the northeast and to promote the identity of the tribes through their craft.
• To increase livelihoods in rural northeast India and to accelerate money circulation for better sustainability of crafts groups in the northeast region of India.
• To promote positive stories above the diverse communities in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura which are clubbed together as inhabitants of the northeast.
The Ants Craft Trust, Bangalore
# 2286, 1st Cross, 14th ‘A’ Main,
H.A.L. 2nd Stage, (Next to New Horizon Public School)
Indiranagar, Bangalore - 560008
Phone : 08041521742
Mobile : 9742293475
1. the ant’s weaving programme & Aagor Daagra Afad has distributed wages worth almost Rs. 2 crore since 2002-03 only through weaving. Salaries of local staff and other income generation activities are separate. More than 300 poor housemaids have been rehabilitated.
2. One of the first agencies in the northeast to develop the Community Health Worker and Barefoot Doctor model. The Manual we created and our personnel helped in formulating the Mitanin concept in Chhatisgarh which ultimately became the ASHA model for the country.
3. Community Laboratory model attracted WHO and National Institute of Malaria Research to come over and see the model for themselves of how just a one month training of microscopists could get 95% correct results!
4. The innovative Women’s cycle bank has given over 500 women and girls access to cycles; it has 7 sustainable chapters run by women’s federations and many other organisations have adopted this idea.
5. 10 girls football teams formed in an area where girls never played football; in the first year itself, 8 girls played at District level and 1 girl played at the State level!
6. We treat over 700 patients of mental illness and epilepsy every month; patients contribute towards costs of medicines
7. IDeA has trained over a 1000 trainees from over 150 NGOs from different parts of Northeast India.
The Ant in the media
1. Cover of OUTLOOK for its grassroots health work 2005.
2. In INDIA TODAY, one of top 50 persons in social work in the country 2008.
3. In OUTLOOK Business, one of top 50 social businesses in the country in Aug 2010.
4. Front page of Aamar Asom (Guwahati) on 28th Aug 2010 as one of 3 social entrepreneurs of Assam chosen by Outlook Business.
5. Best NGO Award of the District – given by District Administration in August 2012
6. CNN-IBN Film on Men Against The Tide 2013
7. Bangalore Store very often in many other print & TV media.