Prayasam: Binapani Tailors,an inspiration of knowledge and learning

Kolkata, IndeKolkata, Inde
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Binapani, goddess of learning-knowledge, Tailors is basically a project for making male shirts and kurta out of traditional hand woven Tangail cloth that helps adolescent girls and boys to sustain their higher education and develop entrepreneurial skills to run their own business.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if for-profit business promoting migrants’ traditional Bengali male ensemble becomes a platform for education sustenance and gender orientation?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Financial scarcity and family problems often compel youth to discontinue education-girls are especially victims of early marriage and boys get involved in illegal activities to earn quick money.Though there are government scholarships for higher education but it does not cover all educational costs. Besides, rich culture of migrants often goes unrecognized which is addressed through project’s unique concept of male ensemble from traditional saree

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project develops non-technical and technical skills of youth so that through alternative income opportunities they sustain their higher education and ensure better future employment prospects. Gender equality is promoted as both and girls will be primarily responsible for sewing the ensemble, besides administration. Unrecognized culture of marginalized immigrants will gain visibility in fashion world, and gender stereotypes will be addressed as Tangail fabric is a traditional attire of women in Bangladesh with limited usage of the fabric for male attire, which is very suitable for tropical weather.


As we have just started the project, yet we have not got any recognition.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Binapani Tailors will primarily be operating from Prayasam’s pilot project area while other communities will be functioning as franchise so that more youth get mutually benefited from the venture and acquire skills to run other socially benefiting for-profit business. The project involves 2simultaneous trainings-technical and lifeskill education. LSE classes will create confidence and develop effective inter-personal skills through sessions on self awareness, communication, decision making and critical thinking, peer assistance leadership, gender and rights orientation. Technical sessions will develop knowledge and skills in designing, cutting, stitching and packaging. The members will be all-rounders with work specialization.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Girls,whose role is often limited to “homemaker”,have been mobilized to form a group to initiate business to self-sustain their education. As the group is heterogeneous,the team spirit among the members resulted in lessening the bitterness towards migrants and superiority complex among boys.In future 60% children will sustain higher education; 50% early marriage will be prevented; 60% boys will be motivated to join the venture; 90% youth will be skilled to sew apparel and 40%workforce will increase. Change in behavioral pattern will enable youth to maintain balance in their daily life.Consequently parents will be convinced to sustain education and shun stereotypical mentality,especially for girls.Through peer learning,more youth will be involved.As entrepreneurial skills will develop alongwith technical knowhow,job prospects of these underprivileged youth in tertiary sector will enhance.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Besides traditional method of networking, Social media will be the mainstay-connecting individuals, groups, overseas clients and brands-as an outlet of male wear using traditional tangail saree is unique, locally, nationally or internationally. Production outreach will be done through liaison with local markets and workforce enlargement will be met by identifying new areas and enlisting youth in capacity building process and handholding training.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Presently, we require grant to start and run the project by developing technical and non-technical skills. The project will be sustained and expanded through retail cost, meeting production cost and labour cost (through fellowship) while the continuous flow of workforce will be ensured through the concept of “each one, teach one” such that the members peer educate their fellows.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Binapani Tailors ensures girls from underprivileged communities administering fashion business that can have global reach, operating from community itself.The core concept of the project stands upon main three pillars- first is to break orthodox thinking that tailoring business is exclusively male domain, second developing entrepreneurial skill of youth especially girls to sustain their higher education and lastly produce male ensemble from traditional Bengali saree a national and international platform of recognition, bridging emotional apathy towards migrant population.

Founding Story

The founder of Prayasam, Amlan Kusum Ganguly, plays a role of mentor who principally takes regular sessions on Life skill education for developing the behavioral pattern of Prayasam’s partners. During self awareness sessions children expressed that they have been forced to discontinue their education due to the financial scarcity and family feud. It has also emerged from the classes that the adolescents had a potentiality of sewing which could be channelized into a profession but due to lack of initiative , children give least priority on their proficiency. The potentiality of sewing inspired him to get started this project with a couple of youth to promote the higher education.


Using 10 years of experience in project management, we have developed an extensive system of 12members- • 1graduate qualified or graduate pursuing Project Coordinator who will be responsible for planning, implementing, strategizing, monitoring, evaluating, networking and building partnership with different stakeholders • 2 tailors in responsibility of sewing and cutting the material • 2 responsible youth for packaging • 2 individuals in charge of public relations • 2 youth for delivering and collecting the material from local market • 1member will be responsible for documentation • 1 member will be responsible for finance • 1 member will be handling the social media As the objective of the project is to promote higher education, the member responsible for tailoring will have to be minimum Higher Secondary qualified and rest of them should be at least Secondary qualified to come into this project. Apart from it throughout the year a bulk of interns and volunteers come who will be assisting us for this project according to their specialization.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Manufacturing, Consumption.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Designer, Non-profit Staff, Retail Representative - Specialty Store, Retail Representative - Mass-merchandise Chain, Technologist.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Children, Consumers, Retailers - Mass-merchandise Chain, Technologists, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Access to Finance, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Gender Equality.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Capacity Building, Training, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?

Targeting apparel industry and sustenance of higher education through capacity building to be future changemakers

Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Establishing community role models and peer education inspire other youth and community as a whole

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Parents through community mobilization to form youth group and identification of local markets for raw materials