Fair Trade Organisation: TARA Projects
TARA stands for: Trade Alternative Reform Action, was created to help the struggling artisans in Delhi, trying to find markets for their products. TARA created opportunities for home-based artisans and craftsmen to set up in markets, for them to sell their art. As a result this helps to generate steady work and income. Due to the organisation’s early success, TARA has continued to expand, now covering a 120 mile area surrounding the city of Delhi. TARA also funds non-formal and vocational schools as well as literacy centers for adults and constantly campaigning for fair trade. Their goal is to end injustice of the world’s mass trade system.
TARA made its humble beginning in 1973 with the objective of creating avenues of economic growth for economically disadvantaged artisans and craftsmen of Delhi and its surrounding areas in the unorganised home-based sector. Encouraged by its initial success the project gradually extended its socio-economic and trade reform activities to the adjoining states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan in Northern India.
Since its inception Tara actively engaged in providing support services to the production and marketing of handicrafts on Fair Trade Principles, while addressing community developmental needs of the grassroots craft persons by imparting, general awareness, Human Rights, vocational and informal education for the human dignity.
Tara Projects, the Association has constantly remained an active catalyst in eradicating poverty, by fighting against exploitation and illiteracy of the producers and its working communities who are deprived of dignified identity and remained constantly subject to social injustice at the total disposal of Unfair Trade and middle men practices. “Make Trade Fair” has always been a principle goal for ushering into social and economic transformation at Tara.
A Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army, later joined as Officer of the Army Wing of the National Cadet Corp at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prof. Shyam S. Sharma achieved top ranking positions throughout his school and university and excelled as a student leader, event organizer and innovator. He was awarded many prestigious awards in curricular and extra-curricular disciplines. He honed up his leadership traits and became a leading intellectual.
As Professor, he initiated Department of Hindi, Comparative Literature & Print Journalism at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. His career at the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia University as a teacher catapulted him to achieve greater heights in life, ushering in a pinch of professionalism and excellence in teaching career in India.
He has been an active catalyst in bringing substantial improvements in the quality of education by making it purpose driven and wholesome. He founded ‘World Family’, an organization that believes and practices human solidarity through benevolence and later set up Tara Projects assist the marginalized communities living around his university and neighborhood in Delhi. He also founded Asia Fair Trade Forum (AFTF) as the first Founding Member of AFTF and served on the AFTF Board in several capacities. He was also the Founding member of Fair Trade Forum-India and served as its President for two terms.