The Telegraph
Sunday , October 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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XLRI lends School of Hope a helping hand

Jamshedpur, Oct. 6: The special children of School of Hope have much to thank the budding entrepreneurs of XLRI for this year.

Thanks to the initiative of 17 students of XLRIs six-month postgraduate programme in entrepreneurship management, the paintings, greetings cards, diyas and candles made by the children of School of Hope would be available at some of the well-known Puja pandals of Calcutta.

Interested institutions and buyers can also see place orders online.

The aspiring entrepreneurs have created a portal for the institution which was launched today.

The website will help the school display its cards and diyas, which can be ordered by prospective buyers from anywhere in the country.

Speaking to The Telegraph, XLRI student Rajnish Jha said they would be training the faculty on how to update content and maintain the website.

We would be visiting the centre regularly. We have made arrangements with some groups in Calcutta so that the products made by the children here can be displayed at some famous pandals like Maddox Square during Durga Puja. We also plan to showcase their products at national-level exhibitions in Calcutta, said Jha.

BPCL employee Suman Bhattacharjee, who is attending the XLRI programme, said the products could match the best in looks and quality, and buyers opted for them as they were made by special children.

Established in 1981, School of Hope in Northern Town has already proven itself in providing valuable survival and educational skills to special children and training them to become relatively independent. At present it has 163 students on its roll, including 30 girls.

Students of this institution usually prepare New Year and Diwali cards, which are usually purchased by different corporate houses, individuals and agencies for distribution among employees and acquaintances.

Students are taught hand and machine stitching, weaving and candle making, with emphasis on adopting the latest trends.

Principal Shyamali Raju said their greeting cards, diyas and candles have always been appreciated in the city. But with the web portal in place and marketing linkages in Calcutta, the products can now reach out to a bigger market.

Last year, more than 5,000 New Year cards and as many candles and diyas were sold within a week. This help from XLRI students would provide us a new dimension both in marketing our products and making forays in new areas. The amount earned from the sale of the products are distributed among students who made them, said the principal.