Hand Papermaking is an activity which has minimum impact on the immediate surroundings. Alongwith SOACH Centre for Creative and Critical Development, an organisation working with local crafts persons in the vicinity of Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Our intervention is creating an opportunity for the local craftsmen and women to learn hand papermaking. As many of these clusters have wood block printing as an established craft, making paper was the missing link. This will help these people learn a new skill as well as create value added products from the same.

Paper Factree at the behest of Conservation Wildlands Trust has set up a hand papermaking unit in Ghoti village. The village is located in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve near Nagpur, Maharashtra. The project focuses on creating alternate livelihood opportunity for the women in these villages. The current livelihood is only agriculture, which however does not last throughout the year. The papermaking unit – allows them to have flexible working hours as well as have minimum impact on the environment. This pilot project in the village of Ghoti, under the Dahoda Gram Panchayat will focus on the women of the village who are organised as a Self Help Group [S.H.G].


The objective of the intervention is to provide the opportunity of an additional livelihood to people in the villages which are in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve. Along with creating awareness about conservation.


To create a self-reliant group of people who make a modest living by pursuing an activity which is revenue generating as well as harmless to its context.


Hand Papermaking [HPM] is an activity which has minimum impact on the immediate surroundings. The module which has been worked out for the Self Help Groups [SHG] at the Pench Tiger Reserve will use waste paper [newspapers, magazines, bill books] and cotton rags form textile mills in Nagpur and harvest rain water to create value added handmade paper products. HMP is a skill which can be acquired easily but excelled at after years of patience and riyaaz. The candidates in focus are the women of the villages who are hardworking and have agriculture as their primary occupation. They pursue agricultural activities only for 6-7 months of a year, the HMP unit will supplement the additional revenue which can be made during the rest of the year.

HAPACOOP- Hand paper making co-operative has been our successful consultancy project to setup a handmade papermaking unit. It involves motivating, training, information dissemination, technical as well as marketing assistance. The intent of the project is to develop a vocation for distinctively enabled individuals to make an honest living. For working of such a project, we laid down not only its material parameters but also its moral and ethical parameters for its guided governance. As part of forming mandate for HAPACOOP, we found it highly demeaning to gain leverage from someone’s disabilities even for their benefit. So we avoided marketing these products as made by disabled individuals. Such conventional tact of marketing and commerce is contradictory to the noble intent of upliftment. Often their disability is looked at as the products U.S.P, but we are convinced that it is an act of moral degradation.

We have trained them, worked with them and observed them perform the art of handmade papermaking. As per our experience know-how and belief we firmly recommend that the quality of handmade paper made by them is way superior to the paper made by ‘normal’ individuals. This uniqueness/distinctness comes from what is referred to as their ‘disability’. Their limitation gives them the patience and placidity required for this meditative activity of Handmade Papermaking. This project encouraged us to instill confidence and dignity in them, for we see it as our responsibility to suggest them a way on which they would tread with pride.

There are therapeutic advantages associated to this activity as well. As this not our area of expertise, we cannot mention the specifics; However due to our interest in the overall subject, we would like to work with a team of teachers who would be interested in evaluating the therapeutic implications.