Can you clean your way to a better life? The girls from Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College certainly think so. A group of students from the college are in the news, for having helped village women in Haryana set up their own liquid detergent business.
Dubbed Project Auric, the initiative is empowering a women’s self-help group in Mangar, a village on the expressway between Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Now a little over a year old, Project Auric is an initiative of student members of the LSR College chapter of Enactus, an international non-profit community of students, teachers and business leaders.
Amisha Patel, a second year student of commerce at LSR and vice-president of Enactus LSR says, “We came across Mangar via Sukarya, an NGO that has adopted the village. We were concerned with issues of sanitation and health, and realised that the women in the village used rudimentary means of cleaning utensils.”
Thus Auric came about, a liquid dish-washing detergent created by a self-help group in the village, consisting of 5-6 women, all from Mangar.
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Amisha says, “Making soaps is relatively easy. Once we taught the women, they managed to do it even without prior experience. We source the raw materials for them in Delhi, from areas like Chandni Chowk, and send it over to them. The women manufacture the liquid, package it and label it themselves. Some of the bottles are sold by Sukarya at their outlet while we take charge of marketing and distributing the rest.”
For every five bottles, each woman gets to keep one bottle for personal use. All the profits of the business are given to the women and poured back into the business.
While Enactus members initially approached a variety of establishments to stock the bottles, they have found popularity among local household. “In recent months, we are concentrating on reaching out to more individual owners,” says Amisha. “We are currently looking for big retail chains as well as smaller grocery stores to stock the products.”
Having set up a steady manufacturing process, the Enactus LSR team members now aim to make Auric a household name. “We are in the process of making the project sustainable,” says Amisha.