Today, as the first program in Mumbai as part of the State Visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the Royal Couple visited ‘Tiny Miracles’ – an organization founded by a Dutch entrepreneur, Laurien Meuter, in the city of Mumbai. As an organization, Tiny Miracles is a perfect example of active & joint Indo-Dutch collaboration on working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In it’s 10th year, Tiny Miracles through trial and error has developed a holistic way to empower poor communities to break their own poverty cycle. At present, they are working with 2,000 people in 3 communities around Mumbai, composed predominantly of low-caste families of the Pardeshi community that migrated to Mumbai generations ago from Uttar Pradesh. But the challenge is not merely to help them get out of poverty, they need to stay out independently and on their own.
To afford this, Tiny Miracles provides work to these women and pays wages, 3 times the average wage, and helps to allocate these wages on things like education, healthcare, self improvement and savings so that they sustain their new life out of poverty. They call this work ‘The Right Way’ and they currently make products which are sold at museum stores worldwide such as Rijksmuseum and van Gogh and in over 750 Rituals stores. Tiny Miracles sees a fundamental trend of consumers and companies wanting to be actively involved in contributing to a better world and doing this by buying well designed products made The Right Way. They are using business as a force for good.
Upon arriving at Tiny Miracles, the Royal Couple, along with Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag were greeted by Laurien Meuter, Founder of Tiny Miracles & Mrs. Grace Joseph, Director of Tiny Miracles. First, they viewed a special display of products created by these Pardeshi women. Next, they went ahead to see the education training centre where the women actually create the products. Here, the Royal Couple held a discussion with some of the women and also tried making some of these Dutch design products themselves. Apart from this, the Royal Couple also interacted with students & their teacher at a nearby school where women who work for Tiny Miracles send their children to, while they are at work during the day. They ended their visit by posing for a group photo with the women of Tiny Miracles.
Laurien Meuter, Founder, Tiny Miracles says, “What an honor to get the opportunity to discuss views and insights on how we can solve the poverty issue in the world with our Majesty King Willem-Alexander and her Majesty Queen Máxima”.
The organization of Tiny Miracles also received a pre-financing of 87,687 Euros from the Dutch government, as a part of the DGGF Technical Assistance program to be used to expand their work in Mumbai. DGGF or the Dutch Good Growth Fund by the The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides finance and insurance that is meant to facilitate development-related trade and investment in over 60 countries.
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