An Introduction to Once Upon a Doug

Once Upon a Doug - our social enterprise project in India

By Abbas Ali, second year Pearson Business School student

Once Upon A Doug is an initiative that supports impoverished women and their families to regain control of their lives by offering empowerment and financial independence from the crippling debt they face. Our aim is to promote their plight, explain their venture, and get those of us more fortunate to help them to make it a success.

Many farmers in the region are in great debt after taking out loans to buy GM seeds that promised a greater yield. However, the soil in Wardha is incompatible with these seeds and the crops often fail. As a result, debt collectors call for money that isn't there - unfortunately a high number of farmers choose to take their own lives in order to escape the debt.

Doug was created to address the issues faced by these rural communities. We work with the wives of these farmers, who hand make ‘Doug’ (‘cloud’ in Marathi), from up-cycled cotton. Each Doug raises awareness as a symbol of the campaign, and represents the story of the woman who made it.

The women are paid for each Doug they make, providing them with supplementary income to support them through difficult times. We ship the Doug’s to the UK where we sell them in a gift aid economy with all profits reinvested back into the community.

On the 9th April the Once Upon A Doug team (OUAD) made up of myself (Abbas), David, Emily, Fiona, Harry, Robbie and Simon, are flying out from the UK heading out to India to put into action all the hard work we’ve been working on during our social entrepreneurship module at Pearson College London.

See you all on the other side and make sure you check out our daily posts!

Keep up to date and follow all of our travels whilst the OUAD team is out in India via the following links:

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You can also follow our story on the Pearson College London social media channels.

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