PUDUCHERRY: Fair trade certified business in Puducherry and Auroville have joined hands to become the first Fair Trade Twin Cities in India. They have therefore become one of 1900 other towns in the world offering fair trade.
As part of this Fair Trade movement Pushpanath Krishnamurthy (64), a global campaigner, is going to walk 450 kms from Puducherry to Udhagamandalam, to support the Fair Trade movement. He will walk past farms, villages, producers, craftsmen, and other Fair Trade organisations. It will be flagged off on November 20 from Gandhi Thidal with the slogan “Go push go! Push for Fair trade”. The walk will end at Ooty on December 10, coinciding with the climate change talks in Paris.
Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers, says Anjali Schiavina, founder of Mandala Apparels, a WFTO and Fair trade certified organisation and President of CII’s Indian Women Network, Puducherry branch. There are eight fair trade certified organisations in Pondy and Auroville, which includes Mandala Apparels, Ambala Hammocks, Auromira Exports, Cottage Industries, Naturveda Biotech, Imagination, Maroma and Upsana.
These along with PondyCAN (Pondy Citizen’s Action Network) are determined to take the movement forward. A fair trade town is where the community and organisations come together to ensure they incorporate social and environmental responsibility and accountability in their everyday choices. This is done with a commitment to sustainable development by providing capacity building, ensuring food security, gender equality, protection of biodiversity and equitability to all stake holders, including fair wages to the workers.
The group constitute an insignificant figure considering that Puducherry has around 8,000 industries, big and small.