Welcome To Capre Foundation

CAPRE Foundation is a non-profit, voluntary organization registered in 1999 under Section 21 of the Societies Registrations Act, 1860. It was founded by grass roots people with a passion to work for cultural, environmental, socio-economic, and educational upliftment of underprivileged artists and artisans working with languishing creative and cultural industries.

The foundation has been actively involved in projects for community development in rural areas of  Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.


To promote cultural, environmental protection, sustainable and equitable, integrated community development based on the principles of inclusivity, social justice, economic growth and self-reliance guided with a philosophy of self-help and community participation.


To create awareness among people to recognize issues related to loss of culture, global warming, culture based sustainable livelihood and promote activities to minimize their impact, and about the exclusion that underprivileged people suffer in India together with becoming a leading organization in transparency, good governance and best practice.


Preserving cultural ecology, participatory cultural based sustainable development, self-reliance, equity based society for the underprivileged.


The organisation aims at fostering an alternative pathway for development using cultural heritage as concrete means for improving people’s livelihoods and empowering local communities. Around ten languishing folk art forms have been revitalized.

 The organisation is involved in promoting rare and dying crafts by way of initiating market links, entrepreneurship skills, organizing crafts melas and bazaars, performing arts programmes of art forms such as Nautanki, Lokgeet, Bhavai, Chhau, Firkaal, Dastangoi, Powara, Telia Rumal, Sohrai , Khovar, Jadopatiya,  and thus helping the cultural artist/ craftsmen to export their cultural skill/product. The majority of craft production remains unorganized and informal with its full market potential untapped, especially by the artisan, who more often than not struggles for sustenance. Propelled by loss of markets, declining skills and difficulty catering to new markets, a large number of artisans have moved to urban centres in search of low, unskilled employment in industry.

According to the United Nations over the past 30 years, the number of Indian artisans has decreased by 30%, indicating the need to re – invest in artisans to safeguard history, culture as an important source of livelihood.

 Our organisation’s initiative has led to improved income and quality of life for 500 traditional folk artists. Non monetized outcomes include improved education of children, improved health and access to sanitation.  

 For poverty alleviation, investment in culture thus needs to address skill development, promotion, capacity building of the artist communities, especially women, youth and minorities and creating enabling ecosystem for development of culture based enterprise. 

The intangible cultural heritage embraces all forms of traditional, popular or folk culture i.e. collective works originating in a given community and based on tradition. These creations are transmitted orally or by gesture, and are modified over a period of time through a process of collective recreation.


·        Revival and preservation of languishing performing and fine arts  and  crafts

·        Preservation of Intangible cultural heritage

·        Environmental conservation through  ancient techniques of  use of natural fibres

·        Reviving ancient techniques of using natural materials and vegetable dyeing. 

·        Eradication of illiteracy among  marginalized  women

·        Domestic Violence Awareness among artisans

·        Self Help Group formation and consolidation

·        Vocational and skill development training

·        Handicraft promotion

·        Poverty alleviation  through the arts

·        Human Rights issues


Kol, Musahar and Tharu tribals in Uttar Pradesh particularly women

Piramalai Kallars and Maravars in Dindigul, Theni and Madurai

Kol Tribals in Rewa Madhya Pradesh with special emphasis on women

Santhal tribals in Jharkhand with special emphasis on women

Marginalized people specially Dalits and minorities 


Shohratgarh Environmental Society Shohratgarh

MSME Allahabad

Abhyudaya Jan Kalyan Ashram Dumka

Women’s Planning Commission Delhi

PURWA Women’s Trust Patna Bihar

ELA Women’s Development Society New Delhi

Kaushambi Vikas Sansthan Kaushambi

Organic Cotton products
One community we work closely with produces our gorgeous hand-loomed organic cotton products and homewares.  These products are beautifully made by a group of women  living in the villages near Madurai in Tamilnadu.  

​Custom Made embroidered items
In Madurai groups of women belonging to denotified communities are making ladies blouses with beautiful bespoke designs and this fair trade venture is proving successful.

Geographical Indicator Awareness

The Geographical Indicators (GI) Act implemented by the Government attempts to solve some of these issues by allowing artisans to register their unique products based on their location
As most crafts tend to be passed down in the form of oral traditions, and recreation of traditional community motifs is encouraged, artisans find it challenging to protect their designs and creations..
However, the process is cumbersome and complicated, and there is a lack of awareness among artisans, leaving several craft forms unprotected and vulnerable to being duplicated using machines.
As an NGO we are  connecting  artisans to relevant schemes that will safeguard their  intellectual properties.

Intellectual Property Rights Protection

Capre Foundation has been campaigning for many years to preserve intellectual property rights of tribal communities.
Tribals, minorities and traditionally isolated communities, are trying to enter into the main stream of life. However, in the process of the fast track of techno-centric development many artists have either lost or are fast losing the essence and aesthetics of their indigenous crafts and craftsmanship – the ultimate fabric of our age-old institutions.

Whether it would be possible to contest this invasion or not, it should be certainly possible to preserve the memory of these rich cultural traditions and customs before they vanish from our sight.

 I.P.R. protection is necessary for community based designs, patterns, meanings and shapes, so that the look and feel, colour and texture of the original is not tempered, without acknowledgment and compensation.
Capre’s approach minimizes negative impacts on the environment and reduces the carbon footprint and provides sustainable livelihoods to marginalized people. It is doing this simply by regenerating the use of natural fibres in daily life by promoting artisans who make utility items made of banana fibre, jute, sisal, water hyacinth, cane, vetiver and lantana. This is simply an effort to bring back the use of natural materials and eliminate plastics. uggesting sustainable building the four cornerstones of artisans’ sustainability:

The business opportunities presented by the harnessing and processing of natural fibres hold the promise of exponential growth, especially given the fact that consumers in developed countries are increasingly interested in choosing ‘environmentally friendly’ products. Enthusiasts for these products argue that they are a healthy, responsible, sustainable and, indeed, fashionable choice.

·        Handholding the Artisan through the Value Chain

·        Increasing Demand for Crafts and Strengthening Market Linkages

·        Strengthening the Decentralized Production Model

·        Building a Multi-Stakeholder Approach

Darohar Lok Kala Sanrakshan Project 

 Since 2013, a unique initiative is underway in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh called  “Darohar Lok Kala Sanrakshan Project”  to revive and revitalize vanishing performing folk art forms as a means of sustainable livelihood.

 Worldwide, traditional folk art and culture face threat of loss. Life style changes are depriving the folk art forms of their context, traditional promoters and audience. In India for example, the poor folk artists, forced into hard daily labour, lack time or opportunity to nurture their art forms. The value of culture as a tool for economic development is being increasingly recognized globally.

 The project is supported by Lily Bhavna Kauler our president and founder who is an NRI lecturer from Australia who is very passionate about folk arts. She has studied classical music at Allahabad University.

 The folk art forms that are being promoted through an Allahabad based  Ngo called CAPRE FOUNDATION are Karinga, Bhavai, Firkaal, Powada, Khadi Gammat and Dastangoi.

The project goal is to preserve intangible cultural heritages as a means of livelihood.

The vision is to rejuvenate the dying folk art forms on the verge of extinction, facilitate perpetuation of skills and make them more acceptable for present day audience.

A primary objective of the project is to ensure that artists receive training in funding submission writing, empowerment bringing in innovations and constant promotion and exposure of various  folk art forms.

The project has benefited 3200 rural and tribal rural and tribal folk artists (folk dancers, singers, painters and dramatists). Their art forms have been revitalized through facilitation of exchange between folk and contemporary artistes, development of new productions, preservation through documentation and promotion through cultural events. The project has led to improved income and new hopes for better life for the folk artists.
The project demonstrates innovative approaches for addressing globally relevant issues like creation of sustainable employment for people lacking formal education and safeguarding cultural diversity. This innovative project demonstrates use of culture to foster social inclusion and synergizing cultural and economic development in rural and tribal communities rich in traditional art and culture. It has established models for improving income opportunities for marginalized people by safeguarding their intangible cultural heritages like performing art forms and traditional craftsmanship as a means of livelihood.

Home based work is work done mainly by women, for a cash income, either in their homes or in a yard, garage or field near the home. Millions of women around the world take up this form of employment to earn some money at the same time as taking care of children or other relatives, or doing agricultural work. Home based workers are usually badly paid – well below minimum or average earnings. They have to work to live and when they are sick or old, they have no income. Most work to pay basic living costs for their family.

The Federation of Homeworkers Worldwide (FHWW) was formed by organizations who have been working together for a number of years. At the end of the mapping programme, in 2004, participants in an international workshop expressed their desire to maintain links and build an active federation. The FHWW is part of the international movement of home based workers and other informal workers, particularly women.

Recently, CAPRE Foundation has collaborated with Home Workers International (HWI) by establishing a local chapter of the federation at Allahabad and Jharkhand. CAPRE Foundation in support with HWI is working to support the demands of home based worker organizations for recognition and rights as workers.

CAPRE Foundation presently has about 200 workers associated with it who are working collectively in Jalpaiguri in West Bengal in Allahabad, Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh and in Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh . These workers are working in crafts including Water Hyacinth, Banana Fibre, Lantana, Palm Leaf, Areca Nut, Tussar and Organic Cotton.


 Capre Foundation is a leading NGO of Allahabad working on cultural based industries. it is working on craft development with natural fibres, it is working hard to make people aware about their ‘Waste to Wealth’ concept making saleable items from what other people would class as rubbish. The agency is working on promoting green livelihoods with ten natural fibres such as Palm Leaf, Kansa/Moonj grass, Arhar stalks, Jute, Vetiver, Lantana, water Hyacinth, Banana fibre, Areca Nut Leaf and Cane in various states, it is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people specially women who have little or no other opportunities with livelihood skills, being a service-based agency it provides artisans and artisan organizations with management, product design and development, and marketing assistance.

 Through incorporating the region’s natural resources and reviving traditional arts and crafts, the organization has been homogenizing effects of globalization and has promoted sustainability. It has enabled the women to use technology to explore their entrepreneurship potential and improve their skills while keeping their endangered crafts, culture, and tradition alive.

 By providing jobs and skills for the women we are able to improve the women’s standard of living and help them send their children to school. The women are paid a fair wage, offered training on quality awareness, health, savings, and gender equality. Most of the women trained by us are the heads of their households because they have been widowed, divorced, or separated, they have little or no income, are landless with few or no assets, and are primarily rural.

 The organization believes that sustainable livelihood and financial literacy are necessary to eradicate gender inequality. When community based income generation involves skilled artisanship, women are motivated and mobilized to work towards better quality of business to become successful entrepreneurs.

 By providing jobs and skills for the women, the foundation has enabled them to improve their standard of living and help them send their children to school. The women have been paid a fair wage, offered training on quality awareness, health, savings, and gender equality. Most of the women trained by us are the heads of their households because they have been widowed, divorced, or separated, they have little or no income, are landless with few or no assets, and are primarily rural.

 Banana Fibre Crafts

 A large quantity of bio-waste is generated every year from the banana cultivation. These wasted pseudo stems are a source of fine quality fibre which is highly valued in the market.
CAPRE Foundation is working for sustainable waste utilization by extraction of fibre and its conversion into various value-added products.
The organization started its banana fibre craft program from Allahabad (UP) in 2010 and then extended to the Jalpaiguri distrtict of West Bengal in 2013.
The foundation trains self help groups in fibre extraction, dyeing, plaiting, rope-making and preparation of handicrafts.
Along with promoting banana fibre craft, the foundation has also developed banana fibre extractor. This extractor can be easily operated by an unskilled person and gives maximum production output. The machine is being promoted among self help groups, rural & small entrepreneurs and farmers practicing banana cultivation. Most importantly the organization provides a 100 per cent buy back scheme for the fibre and crafts.

Areca Nut Craft

Areca Nut is an eco friendly and bio-degradable fibre utilised for manufacturing disposable plates and bowls as a substitute for plastic and other artificial ones.

The organization has trained nearly 60 self help groups so far in Areca leaf collection and preparation of various products, making them sustainably self employed. At present, the artisans are producing round / square / rectangle Areca leaf plates, cup, designer plates and bowls. Size varies between 4”, 5”, 6″, 8″, 9.5″, 10″ upto 12″. 

Gender Focus

The training has a clear focus on the important issue of economic empowerment of women. The targeted villages are predominantly agricultural villages with no other occupation. The literacy rate is also remarkably low.

More than just a joyful place

The foundation has been actively involved in projects for community development in rural areas of Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.