Making Change With Change

During the Pact checkout process, you are able to donate a dollar to the Chetna Organic Cotton Cooperative.  Chetna represents more than 25,000 family farmers spread across Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa states in India, many of whom derive their entire livelihoods from as little as a single acre of land.  Chetna’s mission is to help these small, rural households to advance their living standards by promoting organic agriculture.  

Every quarter, your generosity goes to support specific initiatives that Chetna is passionate about.  Here’s how you’ve been able to help with so far…



1. The Health & Empowerment of Women: Smokeless Stoves

Recent studies in India suggest that 65% of national air pollution is contributed by rural India through burning of agriculture crop waste/rubble/stalks and burning firewood for cooking. Moreover, rural women and girl children are more exposed to the hazardous smoke emissions given their roles within the household. The burden of collecting firewood and water also disproportionately falls to women as, making it time prohibitive to engage in other activities such as improving literacy, teaching children, running enterprises & income generation, recreation activities and rest.

Your donation helped put 62 smokeless cook stoves into Pawnoor village, improving the lives and the potential of women worldwide.


2. Training & Inspiring Youth: A New Facility

Over the past few years, Chetna has facilitated the construction of a full-fledged training center focused on enhancing the capacities of young women (school drop outs) and young men from cotton farming communities. The center imparts structured entrepreneurship development trainings (tailoring/embroidery, repairing of tractors & motors, electrical, masonry, plumbing, etc.), creating skills that can lead to additional income generation for cotton farming families.

Your donation went towards laying a pathway from the gate leading to the center to enable the movement of transport vehicles and to safeguard participants from snakes when entering the center for training.


3. Clean Water For All

Having access to safe drinking water is a legitimate human right and yet majority of the world’s population especially in the global south suffer from a serious lack of access to safe drinking water. Even in relatively advanced countries such as India, safe drinking water is not readily available, particularly in rural areas. One reason drinking water is of paramount concern is because 75 percent of all diseases in developing countries arise from polluted drinking water sources. 

Kanchanpalli, a small village of farmers who are engaged in Organic & Fair Trade (OFT) cotton cultivation through the Chetna Organic program, is is facing a serious problem with access to safe drinking water given its rural location. This is leading to an inordinate amount of renal failure and death.

Your donation went toward supporting a project to  build a water purification system for this village as well as to create awareness on measures for safe drinking water.


4. Computer Literacy for Youth

Growing numbers of youth in India lack the right educational infrastructure to develop life skills and adequate opportunities to get employed or become entrepreneurs. This is particularly true of rural, tribal youth (72.2 percent of the Indian population lives in the rural areas). Generally, rural youth start working from their childhood on the family farm, and while some youth are decently educated, they do not get the necessary skills to advance outside of the cotton fields.

Your donation went towards building a computer-training center called the “Training and Resource Centre for Organic and Fair-trade Farmers” in Ragapur village, where tribal youth from smallholder cotton farming households can gain computer literacy making them employable in different streams and helping them generate additional household income and improved living standards.

kamie kennedy