24 Good Businesses 2012

Sweet incensibility

The Village Store’s strategy of setting up incense making units offers hope in backward and Naxal-infected areas

SOUMIK KAR

Thickly forested Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra’s least developed Vidarbha region is among the poorest districts in the state and has an abysmally low 0.21 ranking on the Human Development Index. To add to misery, the area is a Naxal stronghold. It’s in areas such as these that Mumbai-based social enterprise, The Village Store (TVS), hopes to make a difference. Its mission is to create employment opportunities, especially for women, in the hinterlands. In Gadchiroli, with the help of district forest authorities and village communities TVS has managed to set up agarbatti (incense sticks) making units in Gadchiroli’s five divisions.