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(A Souvenir by Differently-able people living in the Himalayas)

The differently-able people are usually very isolated in the rural areas of Nepal. Even their skilled and capacity to produce any services and goods are ignored and underestimated. Their voices are not heard.

Nepal Environment & Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF) and Nagarkot Naldum Tourism Development Committee (NNTDC) organized a follow up handicraft training program in Nagarkot from 23rd April to 28th April, 013. The Training was given through one of the member organization of WEAN (Jamarko Handicarfts) to the differently-able women group from Nagarkot who had already taken the basic handicraft training course organized by NETIF in 2012.The training was provided to strengthen the capacity of differently able men and women for income generation and self employment skills to enrich their economic, social sustainability as well keeping of the self esteem high. It is a pilot program which aims in sharing the benefits of tourism linking the goods and services produce locally to the buyers visiting the place.

The advance training course was taken by 12 participants and it is focused to produce the products made from Nepali paper for souvenirs which include photo frames, post cards, bags, boxes, note books and many other items.
The aim of the training was:

1. To increase economic opportunities and create awareness among women entrepreneurs and to develop tourism sector in the area.
2. To develop and upgrade the skills of trainees according to market needs and to produce quality products.
3. Market the products produced by differently able people

WEAN has developed effective training package to differently-able trainees and have helped to develop their home based businesses so that they can improve their quality of life and their families and entire society. WEAN has played an effective role in developing market network according to market need and availability of raw materials in their local area. WEAN has also agreed to support the program by developing a market linkages in Kathmandu while Jamarko Crafts agreed to purchase the high quality products for their own market links.

Photo: During the Handicraft training session

In order to showcase the handicraft products for sale, a handicraft souvenir shop has been established in the ground floor of the NNTDC house while the office of NNTDC has shifted to the first floor in the same premises. NETIF has provided the additional support to furnish and decorate the handicraft shop with a set of sofa, table, 3 cupboards, 2 coffee tables, and a showcase and also painted and carpeted the room. A sales person has been appointed who will be responsible for managing the handicraft shop on daily basis and in addition the person will be providing information to the tourists about Nagarkot and surrounding areas.
For the development, management and the promotion of the handicrafts center a management committee and promotion committee has been formed. In addition to it, the committee also motivated them to produce more handicrafts and quality handicrafts. The simple orientation and motivation was very successful, because all most all the trained people with disabilities are developing products independently. The management committee collects the handicrafts and displays them for the sale. The handicraft center will also be running as a tea shop. The required kitchen equipments have been provided by Hotel Association of Nagarkot (HAN).
Meanwhile, NETIF has also provisioned a working capital for the purchase of raw material. The management committee would utilize the fund from working capital and fabricate the products which they can sell to the management committee which later will decide the selling price of the goods according to the market value and the profit will be used for the enhancement and regular function of the handicraft center and some will be used for the handicapped fund and waste management support. For the working capital, the donation has been provided by various parties as below:

Nagarkot VDC -Rs 10,000
Mr Arun Shrestha (President of NETIF) – Rs 10000
Mr Badri P. Makaju (President of NNTDC and owner of Hotel …) - Rs 5000
Mr Indra Lama Vice president NNTCC and Owner of hotel Santi Stupa –Rs 5000
Mr. Dhana bahadur Lama Rs 5000
Film industry (From China) – Rs 15000

During the closing ceremony of the training, all the hoteliers from the Nagarkot were invited and informed about the handicraft products and the opportunity of the market linkage. The hotelier commented that the paper made handicrafts are of tourist items which could be also sold from individual souvenir shop established in their hotels and they have agreed to purchase regularly provided if the products are of high quality and cost effective. The idea was developed that the major income earned by the shop will be used for the development of the shop itself where as some income will be shared for waste management and welfare of the family members of Handicapped committee of Nagarkot.
In the initiation of NETIF, the handicraft center will attach a quote in each handicraft products. The quote states as: "Thank you for supporting handicrafts produced by handicapped residents of Nagarkot. You are also contributing towards sustainable tourism that is inclusive of all people in reinforcing local communities and environmental stewardship.”

According to NETIF’s perception, the handicraft center could contribute not only in tourism development activities but also supports the environmental conservation that brings the harmony between the locals and business men of Nagarkot.


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