Poonam Jayant Singh
The systemic design thinking approach has been used to empower marginalised women communities through co-creating products with locally available raw material existing in the surrounding area to help in livelihood generation. Two experimental case studies were used to empower women and learn from ground realities by being a spectator participant. Locally and freely available clay and “chikan”, a Geographical Indication of Lucknow, a traditional artisanal form of designing motifs by threads on cloth, using locally available material showed how design intervention can provide a solution for change. Rural Women Self Help Groups (RW-SHG), designed to empower women at the community level also act as microfinance institutes where women lend and collect finances for their needs. The women need handholding support for understanding market needs, bringing new products to the market, designing with functionality and market behaviour. Urban market reach with sustainable, eco-friendly products by creations of rural women was one of the targeted goals. A quadrupole intervention with society, academia, Government organisations, Non-Governmental organisations and business groups together can co-create community empowerment. The two case studies give a glimpse of the problems faced by women and how as a spectator participant, lessons can be used to create a working model with coordinated effort to empower women.