In this world driven by materialism and competition, it’s very easy to lose sight of what is truly important. We see pain and suffering around us but seldom stop running after our own notions of happiness and success but what we don’t realize is that it all, at the end of the day, comes down to simply lives we enrich and the memories we leave behind.
Most of us want to help but are unable to open our eyes to the fact that the notions of power, wealth, success have evolved over the years and have become almost an overpowering force- corrupting the minds of the entire world, enslaving them in a system that feeds on greed.
This is where The Buddha Solution comes in. It is a company, a small company which is brave enough to stand up and raise its voice rather than being a passive observer, which is alive to the harsh realities of our society and tries to do something about it.
It understands and feels the needs of those that are marginalized- the specially abled and goes out of its way to help them. Not help in terms of hollow awareness drives or donation campaigns or by promising freebies and creating a false sense of security in their minds etc. but help, true help, in terms of building sustainable employment opportunities for the said individuals.
The company has the rare distinction of being one that actively promotes the handicrafts sector while creating sustainable employment opportunities (the current work participation rates for specially abled people in India stand at about 25.7% for specially abled men and a shocking 8.7% for specially abled women according to a UNDP report) and at the same time, competing in the ever so competitive e-commerce sector. Moreover, it ploughs the profits it earns for further employment generation.
The numbers are staggering- The country’s population of specially abled individuals increased by 22.4% between 2001 and 2011. In absolute numbers, the figure which was 2.19 crore in 2001, rose to 2.68 crore—1.5 crore males and 1.18 crore females in 2011 and with these numbers rising, the clarion call for action couldn’t have been louder. At the Buddha Solution, the goal has always been to ensure that the courage as well as the skill that these individuals possess gets channelized in the right direction.
It takes advantage of the benefits of the 21st century and uses it to employ those who really need it. It is a unique blend of entrepreneurial ability and a determination to fight and rise out of abject poverty.
A quick visit at the company’s website and one can see a beautiful assortment of handicrafts from handbags to paintings, stationery to scarves for sale. All of these goods have been created by extremely talented individuals looking for an opportunity to use their skills to sustain themselves. They don’t want sympathy, they want to be self-reliant and the Buddha Solution thus provides a platform for them to market their goods and themselves as unique and gifted artists.
It’s an enterprise that is utopian in its vision yet pragmatic and decisive in its actions. It’s the new kid on the block as far as the e-commerce marketplaces are concerned but it is here to stay, for good and to do good.