Women's empowerment in a forsaken land: How a garment factory is restoring dignity and livelihood to poor tribals | Reimagining India

Sep 23, 2021

Chhattisgarh, a heavily forested state in central India, is considered to be the epicenter of Maoist insurgency in the country, one of the most long-running insurgencies that the world has seen. With remote and inaccessible hilly terrains, the state’s topography and decades of conflict between the ultra-left radicals known as Naxalites and the Indian state has often been a barrier to job opportunities and development for the state’s tribal-dominated population who had been condemned to penury.  But now, however, in the state’s notoriously extremist-infested district of Dantewada, with a population of about 15,000, almost abandoned by the state, a garment factory, run by self-help groups, is bringing livelihood and empowerment to tribal women - one sewing machine at a time. This is the story of a factory in the Naxal-affected district of Dantewade in Chhattisgarh. A lot of self-help groups are collectively running this factory and a brand called Dannex. And this factory's sole mission is to change the perception of Dantewada and create a garments' hub that will give employment to its local people and provide new opportunities for livelihood in the area.