BAANSULI – A mission to uplift tribal artisans

Some people donate a part of their earnings due to the country laws, and some out of pure conscience. But, some extraordinary set of people dedicate their whole life to a cause that eventually uplifts and upbrings another set of underprivileged lot. One such person is Saloni Sacheti. A lawyer turned social entrepreneur, Saloni was wise enough to listen to her heart’s voice at the very beginning of her legal career. She joined SBI Youth for India fellowship, where she spent 13 months in the rural areas of India. She started BAANSULI as a project during her fellowship days. BAANSULI is jewelry made from Bamboo and is a social enterprise that economically empowers the group of tribal artisans making handcrafted contemporary bamboo jewelry in the District of Dangs, Gujarat, in India.
BAANSULI – Bamboo Artisan Socio-Economic Upliftment Initiative (Baansuli), it is also an acronym of two words i.e. Baans which means “Bamboo“ and Hansuli is “A jewelry pattern“

According to government data, Dangs is one of the most economically distressed districts in India. 98% of the population is tribal, and the primary source of income is agriculture. Due to its hilly terrain, Dangs often faces water scarcity post-monsoon. BAANSULI has created a source of income for these talented tribal artisans. They often get forced to migrate to the nearest cities in search of work due to a lack of irrigation facilities.

Saloni believes that we often mistake that these artisans can only do farming. But, the success of BAANSULI shows that these tribal people have no less talent and can do wonders if given the right opportunity. Moreover, creating beautiful pieces of jewelry out of bamboo in itself is a challenging task that these artisans have made possible.

Though not a professional jewelry designer, Saloni dedicatedly involves herself along with the artisans in the nitty-gritty of all the processes of jewelry making. A true leader, one should say.

The ray of hope that Saloni has brought in the lives of these impoverished artisans (10 in total) has been terrific. Within 18 months, she has created BAANSULI as a primary source of income for them. Each of them now earns about $100-$150 every month.

Saloni does not limit her exposure to the district and state. She regularly takes part in the exhibitions taking place across India to give BAANSULI a wider exposure. She does not miss a chance to boast about the creations that her team of artisans has designed.

That is a bamboo bracelet.

That is a beautiful bamboo necklace.

My personal favorite, bamboo earrings.


Saloni has won the 3M CII Young innovator challenge Award under Rural Category in 2018 and the Best start-up award under the sustainable livelihood category by the Ministry of rural development and NIRD Hyderabad in 2019. She was also amongst the top 18 social innovators at NSCI PIC in 2018. Her strong desire to do something for the community gave her the courage to break the stereotypes when it comes to changing careers.

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