About

MKS is based in Kolkata, India
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Who We Are

MKS is based in Kolkata, India. It was founded in November 1994, as an association under the Indian Societies Act, 1961.

Ever since its inception, MKS is promoting Indian handicraft and handloom across the globe under the Fair Trade banner. It has chosen the Fair Trade route to offer sustainable wages and steady incomes for artisans.

Since 1997, it has been a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Today, it is one of the prominent Fair Trade Organizations (FTO) in Kolkata.

Our History

Madhya Kalikata Shilpangan (MKS) was registered as a society under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961.

When Madhya Kalikata Shilpangan (MKS) was formed in August 1994, it was registered as a society under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. Though, societies formed under the law are not supposed to undertake export or any other business, those activities are not barred either under the law.

This has eased MKS to start off with export. For this, it had to state in its bye-laws that one of its objectives was to carry on export with a view to assist local cottage and small-scale industries find overseas markets, which along with some other objectives, had been ratified by the concerned authorities.

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Mission

Our first mission is to create job opportunities for the economically weaker sections of society so as to enable them lead a decent life.

Our second motto is to preserve and promote traditional crafts of India. Within the scope of the first two missions, our primary target group is our artisan friends who we want to offer jobs on a regular basis so that they can stay in their respective fields of crafts and thus help in preserving our traditional crafts. We also want to empower women and physically challenged people by creating job opportunities for them in a number of fields. Towards the goal of job creation, we want to keep on widening the scope of export markets for our traditional handicraft and handloom products. In that respect, we want to stay focussed on sticking to the “Fair Trade” principles as have been outlined by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), which include, among others, payment of fair price to producers and minimum wage to artisans.

Promotion of Fair Trade in India and abroad. To help our traditional crafts stay competitive in export markets, we aim to constantly upgrade skills of our artisans and as well as product designs. Apart from upgrading technical skill of artisans, we also want to carry on training programmes in financial matters and other social fields like fire safety, health care and so on.

Not to employ people below 18 years of age anywhere in our activities. Not to force any people to work in our organisation. No discrimination in wages and working conditions on the basis of gender, caste, creed or religion. To facilitate capacity building by producer groups (PGs). To ensure compliance of Green technology by MKS and as well as PGs at all levels including production, packaging and shipment. To maintain transparency and accountability of MKS and as well as PGs. Last but not the least - to ensure a congenial working condition and freedom of association in MKS.

Vision

The primary Vision of MKS is to promote Fair Trade. It believes so as it looks at Fair Trade as a means of ensuring fair wage to artisans with whom it deals and providing fair price to producers of Indian handicrafts and handloom products.

It envisions setting up a leather goods manufacturing facility at a bigger scale, following all standards, laid down by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). Once the factory would be built as per the standardisation norms of WFTO, it would have no difficulty in complying with ISO, which are almost inimical to the former.

That way, we would like to build the proposed factory, that will be equipped with the state-of-the art machinery, but also be environment friendly, hygienic and a source of unleashing human energy and spirit. But, the grandiose vision that we cherish to translate into reality is to set up something which would be of great help to the disadvantaged people of society. This can be an Old-age home or a rehabilitation centre for those who after going through some mental disorder, are now cured but refused to be accepted by their relatives. On the other hand, they are also unwanted by the mental hospital, leaving them in lurch.

So, we are toying with both the options. Anyway, either of them would come up as soon as we get the required land for which an intensive search is on. Whichever it may be, the idea is to make them self-reliant and restore their self-confidence, For this, MKS would make arrangements to provide them necessary training in different vocations and other related fields. We feel that would be our duty towards the society.