Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
The Chrysalis Movement
Explain your project in details:
The idea for my project was born in the PCVC NGO in Chennai, India where I was volunteering over the summer. The NGO works towards the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors, and I often heard of their struggles with their skin, its painful response to heat and the difficulty in finding effective yet inexpensive products to calm it. One survivor Shanti told me about her skin and the products she used to help her with the burning sensation, irritation and stretchy feeling she experienced but felt no relief and found nothing in the market that could cater to her sensitive needs. As someone with sensitive skin, and interest in skincare, their struggle resonated with me. So I decided to create a skincare line, meticulously hand made using natural ingredients and beneficial essential oils. The products I developed include a cooling gel, face mist and clay face pack. I name the line The Chrysalis Movement, in order to symbolize the journey of acid attack survivors, coming out of their chrysalis (cocoon) and becoming butterflies. My aim was to develop a line that could be used by ordinary people with sensitive skin as well as by acid attack survivors. Each of these products can be used on all skin types while catering to the specific needs of acid and burn survivors. Since I am selling this line to the general public besides donating it to NGOs working with acid attack survivors, profits earned from the sale of these products go to the PCVC NGO in Chennai.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
I am currently selling the products through pop-ups and online, and have earned Rs. 75,000 in profits, all of which have been donated to the PCVC NGO. The NGO has also accepted the Chrysalis product line for use in their NGO other NGOs based in Delhi like Make Love Not Scars. Each catering to 40-50 victims who visit them per month, they have reported optimistic feedback after using the products over a course of 7 months. Last year, under the banner of The Chrysalis Movement, I also created a fundraiser online for the benefit of the PCVC NGO on ketto.com and raised Rs. 2,00,000 that went directly to the NGO. Furthermore, my initiative was recognized by Prudential Insurances Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards 2018 as a significant social entrepreneurship effort. I won the Silver Medal in the SOCA 2018.
Sustainability and future plans
I started this activity in May 2018 and have been associated with this for the last 1year. Since then I have worked with survivors in Chennai and Delhi. Since my base is in Delhi, working with people in Chennai broadened my vision, beyond the limitations of state borders and I want to reach out to survivors all across India. Living in a country where such acts of defilement are so prevalent, I am driven to work towards empowering them to pursue their life's mission without being held back by their skin condition and sensitivity. Mainly coming from very humble backgrounds, I want to raise funds in aid of other organizations working to support them, by selling my products. Thus far, I have been personally making the products by hand with the help of a small team. Now, I have partnered with a certified organic laboratory to make the production of the line more efficient. Furthermore, I have applied for the necessary certifications to sell my products internationally, and reach people who care about this cause as well as ordinary people in search of soothing skincare products as well.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am 17 years old, and a student of Modern School, Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, India. My subjects in school are Economics, Psychology, Political Science, English and Math. My favourite subjects are Economics and Psychology, which I believe are inextricably interrelated. While the motivations behind my initiative, The Chrysalis Movement, were my personal interactions with acid attack survivors and my own interest in skincare, my academic passions also contributed to the success of my initiative. Understanding the psychology of survivors, and the intricacies of the market enabled me to best serve the survivors my initiative aims to help while understanding how best to market and sell my products. In the future, I hope to study both Psychology and Entrepreneurship in college, a combination which I believe will serve me well in future endeavours. While my initiative has already won the Silver Medal at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards 2018, I hope to now take it to the international level.