Selvam's Story

As the only wage earner in his family, Selvam appreciates the fair wage that he receives as a worker at the pottery.

"I have been working here for 16 years," he said. "I had the chance to study to 5th standard and this was my first job. I am happy in it. I am getting a fair wage and I am happy to work in this atmosphere. It is a good management taking care of the workers."

"I am really happy because I am producing a handmade product here and people are buying it. I am married with three daughters and all of them are in school. My wife is at home. I am the only person earning money for my family."

"I don’t have any special hopes for my children but I want all of them to go further into higher studies. Even if they want to come here to work, I will be supporting them."

SIPA Background

Sri Sivam Pottery is based in Allankuppam village, near Pondicherry in India. It provides Traidcraft with a variety of pottery products through SIPA.

The 35 people who work at the pottery live in nearby villages, travelling up to 4km to attend work. Benefits for staff include a 50% subsidy on fees for their children attending the neighbouring school, which was opened by the pottery in 2005.

The school began with 60 children attending, a figure which soon increased to 273 and in 2008 teachers were expecting up to 400 pupils to begin the new school term. To accommodate them all, an old building previously used for ceramic construction and kilns last used in 2004 were being demolished to make way for new classrooms.

Prior to the school opening, children had to travel up to 17kms to get to the nearest school. The pottery also provides a van to transport children to and from the school. In 2008, seven children of producers were attending the school.

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