Boom Shankar Gives Back
Boom Shankar operates with a strong social conscience having supported many Australian charities and schools as well as projects in India. Early on, this work took a scattergun approach, providing support as Dui became aware of particular areas of need. Some of Boom Shankar’s early efforts in India have included support for:
- The building of a Girls’ College in Nahraina village in Rajasthan
- The introduction of a water purifying system for two schools in Hasanpura, the oldest slum area in Jaipur. The schools, operated by Indian agency, Draydan Social Welfare, and Belgian charity, Opus III, provide a stepping stone for impoverished children to enter state-run schooling. To find out more, visit opusiii.be, and consider donating or sponsoring the education costs for a local child.
- The planting of trees around the factory and surrounding streets in Pushkar where Boom Shankar’s clothes are made. This work has included working closely with local government bodies.
- The building of three wells in the neighbouring potting village of Jethana in Rajasthan after Dui became aware that locals were having to walk 6km a day for their water supply as the result of a long draught.
- The development of cottage industries in a remote village of refugees from Pakistan. Boom Shankar paid women to undertake hand stitching on Boom Shankar garments, which at that point was the village’s only source of income.
- The work of Tree of Life For Animals providing animal birth control, rabies vaccinations, rescue of street animals, veterinary care, and good animal husbandry education in rural and remote areas in India. To find out more or donate or sponsor an animal, visit tolfa.org.uk.
Recently, we have begun working with community development experts to ensure our efforts are as strategic as possible, drawing on a solid evidence base and strong grassroots support. We will be announcing our 2018 Community Support Strategy shortly, but in the meantime we have already started work on one of our focus areas – child labour and child trafficking. Read on below to learn about the work of great Australian charity, Forget Me Not.
Boom Shankar is a passionate supporter of Australian charity Forget Me Not which works through local organisations in India, Nepal and Uganda. Forget Me Not works to reunite trafficked children with their families and provides support to help families become self-reliant as a means to keep families together.
All proceeds from our unique patchwork bags are also donated to Forget Me Not, and Boom Shankar donates $5 from the sale of every Choose Joy T-shirt to this amazing cause. You can find out more about the amazing work of Forget Me Not at www.forgetmenot.org.au . Consider adding your support!
Boom Shankar's Production Ethics
Boom Shankar is committed to the ethical production of our garments, minimising environmental waste and ensuring fair labour conditions for all our workers in Australia and in India. We believe in fair wages, safe working conditions, reasonable working hours, and a discrimination-free workplace.
Our factory in Rajasthan
Boom Shankar has a long-term connection to our factory in Rajasthan: a family owned business that has grown with us. Recent independent audits have found:
- The factory is a modern building with air conditioning, fans and excellent staff facilities.
- Equipment is checked on a monthly basis by an independent contractor.
- All wages are paid in accordance with Government regulations.
- All employees are provided with company funded Medical Insurance.
- All overtime is fully paid.
- Employees are provided three breaks per day.
- Staff amenities are available, including a fully working kitchen as well as Chai tea served at regular intervals.
- Workers are provided a day off each week to practice their religion.
- All religious holidays are observed, including Hindu and Muslim holidays.
- Monthly checks on staff welfare are carried out by independent contractors.
- No chemicals are used in the factory.
- An AZO free dye is used.
- No substances are used that may be harmful for the skin, eyes or body in any way.
Additional to the official auditing data, our trust in management practices is reinforced by Dui’s strong relationships with both the management and many of the long-term factory employees. Dui works at the factory for weeks at a time, numerous times each year. Always interested in people, she has built relationships through her work interactions but also a lot of socialising (!!!), including routinely hosting morning teas for all factory staff as well as attendance at many family celebrations and religious ceremonies. Dui has also supported staff efforts lobbying management for changed employment practices: for example, allowing workers to nominate the type of gift they might receive from management during the traditional gift giving season of Diwali, so that those gifts may be more practical and more useful for employees.
Our factory in Delhi
Boom Shankar has worked with a second factory based in Delhi. The most recent Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (2015) reported that our Delhi factory met all standards for labour rights, health and safety, environment and business ethics. Their findings include:
- The workplace is spacious with proper ventilation, fire equipment, emergency evacuation signage and procedures.
- All workers receive above minimum wage as per the state requirement.
- All workers interviewed were found to be happy with management behaviour. The factory has formed a works committee which has a grievance handling policy and suggestion box. The management has an open door policy, where workers can approach their senior manager.
- Workers reported that what they liked best about working at this site was the management attitude and salary payment on time as well as the availability of payment in advance.
- During personal interviews, female workers stated that they are treated with respect and dignity and given the same opportunities as everyone else.
- The factory has maintained all legally required environmental documents of compliance with related environmental regulation, and has conducted necessary air emission testing as required by law.
Although Boom Shankar has had a shorter working relationships with the Delhi factory, Dui has developed strong working and social relationships with management and employees. Dui works from the factory, for example, spending time on the pattern making machine, on the computers, or with the sample tailors. This interaction with staff offers a valuable opportunity to see how work is routinely carried out and to hear directly from staff about their experiences making Boom Shankar’s range.
We understand that our workers and their families depend on the income from their employment so it is essential that their working conditions are safe and fair. It is extremely important to Dui that all her staff are well looked after. Their satisfaction in their work is an essential ingredient to her success and happiness.
Big Love Big Life,