We are a women's empowerment initiative

Sewing the Seeds utilises creativity and enterprise to break the cycle of poverty for Indian women. We are creating an environment of self determinism and economic independence for marginalised women by harnessing their local craft traditions. 


In partnership with grassroots NGO Samugam Trust, we've been providing sewing machines and training to rural women in Tamil Nadu since 2011. This provides them with the opportunity to create a self-sustaining income. In our next phase we are focusing support on gypsy women, one of the most disadvantaged communities in India. In partnership with the community we are experimenting their local methods of recycling to create ethically produced artisan products to be sold on the international market. Through this social enterprise model, the women, their children and their wider communities are moving towards independence and a self-sustaining future.

Gypsy Comunities

The local gypsy community of Tamil Nadu are the Narikuravar; the indigenous people of the area who have been discriminated against since ancient times, namely because of their nomadic lifestyle and taboo consumption of animals. The gypsy communities of India sit at the absolute bottom of society, below the caste system. Poverty, illiteracy, diseases and discrimination are the major issues that confront the Narikuravars. Girls are often married off directly after they menstruate and can become mothers as early as 14 years old.

Tamil Nadu

Location information





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Literacy is a person's link to the world. Without the ability to read or write a women is left to endure the circumstances she is born into and is unable to change her future.

Son preference

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Due to the high value based on boys in India the place of women as second-class citizens is reinforced.


The proportion of women in the workplace in india is falling - from 37% in 2005 to 29% in 2010.


Such a large wage disparity discourages women to take control of their lives.

Smart Economics

Studies show that correcting this gender imbalance increases the prosperity of the country as a whole. Putting money in the hands of women is just smart economics.
Simply handing a woman money is a short-term solution, but empowering her with skills and self-confidence is a change that can’t be undone.