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The ‘Alternative Education Program’ (AEP) provides functional literacy to illiterate artisans and village community members who were not able to complete primary education. The ambit of this ‘alternative education’ is basic literacy and numeracy skills, and developing an understanding of health, hygiene, family life, education and the environment while building their confidence so that they become more self-reliant in applying their learning in multifarious ways.
In late 2010, AEP was conceptualized and started in partnership with Jenny Jones Rugs and Peter Larsen – buyers and supporters of Jaipur Rugs
The classes are conducted for 2 hours every day with weekly revisions. Each AEP program lasts for 6 months. The centers in which these classes are conducted are located within the village, at walking distance from the households of the beneficiaries. The teachers are also selected from among the educated women of the locality and trained beforehand.
Financial inclusion has been a major gap area in the development of rural communities in India. Jaipur Rugs helps in the process of opening bank accounts for the artisans. Locally accessible banking services (conventional as well as innovative) are identified and artisans are connected with these institutions. During the last five years, over 2000 Bank Accounts have been opened.
Village communities also benefit from the camps organised in their villages in collaboration with other entities dedicatedly working towards financial inclusion at the grassroots. Recently, globally renowned initiative – M-PESA has also been experimented with. Over 100 M-PAISA accounts have been opened till date and with ever increasing penetration of mobile phones in the villages, we expect to open many more such accounts in the coming days.
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