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    HomeHyderabadFarmers in Hyderabad to benefit from affordable woollen shoes.

    Farmers in Hyderabad to benefit from affordable woollen shoes.

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    Low-cost woollen shoes are being developed to help farmers in India. Many farmers prefer to go barefoot, but this can lead to injuries and diseases. Surprisingly, around 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from problems related to walking barefoot. The soil and terrain conditions in rural India are not suitable for this practice. Farmers typically go through 7-8 pairs of footwear each year, but these shoes are not designed for their working conditions. This leads to a lot of waste, with around 350 million pairs of shoes discarded annually, and 98 percent of them ending up in landfills.

    A start-up called Earthen Tunes Design has come up with a solution to address the footwear challenges faced by farmers. They have developed woollen shoes that are specifically designed for Indian conditions. These shoes use ethically sourced indigenous wool from skilled artisans, making it an innovative and sustainable approach.

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    The shoes are suitable for year-round use and can be worn on and off the farm. One of their key features is that they can be worn without socks while keeping the feet sweat-free and odor-free. The shoes are designed to be durable and resilient, perfect for farm conditions. They have undergone field trials with farmers in rural Maharashtra and laboratory testing at the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) to ensure quality and safety.

    Earthen Tunes started in 2018 with support from the RTBI (IIT Madras Incubation Cell) and has received funding from IIT. In 2019, they conducted pilot testing with farmers in rural Maharashtra and produced 1000 shoes. They directly procured blankets from weavers in Karnataka, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, providing employment opportunities for them.

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    The initiative has already benefited 1000 farmers, but there is a challenge in ensuring a consistent supply of woollen blankets in the future. Earthen Tunes is in talks with the Telangana State government to seek support in sourcing the blankets. The craft of weaving woollen blankets in India is facing a threat of extinction due to declining demand and a shift towards rearing meat-based sheep. Urgent measures are needed to revive and sustain this traditional craft and support the skilled artisans involved.

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