TARA stands for the society for Technology & Action for Rural Advancement and provides scalable solutions for people and our planet.
It is a social enterprise that was set up in the year 1985 in New Delhi. TARA is an “incubation engine” of the Development Alternatives Group which has been providing development solutions in India and elsewhere.
The vision of Development Alternatives Group is to create sustainable livelihoods on a large scale and to thus mobilise widespread action to eradicate poverty and regenerate the environment.
The Development Alternatives Group also wants to build capacity, incubate business models and manage processes to create economic, social and environmental value on a large scale.
TARA makes this possible as TARA as an “enabler”, is instrumental in the creation of livelihood support systems, training and capacity building for the rural poor and marginalised communities. TARA as an “aggregator” bundles support service packages, helps large corporations to explore new markets and also aggregate the output of local producer groups including micro, mini and small enterprises and connect these groups to market opportunities for BOP access and market development for ethical products and services.
Governments, large corporations and civil society networks benefit from TARA’s expertise as a “manager” of substantial awareness creation, environmental action, community development and service delivery programmes in areas such as affordable housing, renewable energy, water management, sustainable agriculture, waste management and recycling.
TARA has been developing replicable models for transforming waste to wealth in the fields of hand-made paper, red clay brick production, stabilised soil block production, pulverised ash block production, concrete roofing, walling and flooring solutions.
The “waste to wealth” solutions ensure profitability for enterprises as the products they make are affordable, ensure easy replicability and wider acceptance.
The “waste to wealth” solutions concentrate on the development of technologies for rural, urban and industrial applications for the SME sector. Two major approaches followed are: Facilitating cleaner production solutions and enabling profitable businesses and customisation of technology based solutions to convert waste to wealth and create livelihoods.
Within the span of 25 years TARA’s “waste-to-wealth” technologies have spread to almost all parts of India and even abroad. These have helped in creating jobs and saving natural resources and additionally the utilisation of waste materials ensures a great reduction in load on city dumping grounds.
One arm of the concern TARA is TARAgram where one may discover a responsible shopping experience. At TARAgram, livelihood securities meet sustainable lifestyles. Style, design, quality and sustainability are combined to create collections in stationery, desktop accessories and home décor. TARAgram reflects sustainable lifestyles inspired by the famous cities in India, historical monuments and also by traditional Madhubani paintings.
At TARAgram are displayed several kinds of handmade paper made by the Sahariya tribal women and other marginalised groups working in the Bundelkhand region (Central India).
All the products at TARAgram become a platform for artisans to showcase their skills with the help of mere rescued materials.
TARAgram retails from its outlet located at the headquarters of Development Alternatives, the not for profit organisation situated in Qutub Institutional Area, New Delhi.
TARAgram’s esteemed clients include PepsiCo India, ApolloTyres Ltd, GIZ, NIIT Technologies Ltd, TATA Teleservices, Vardhman Textiles Limited and the IFC-World Bank Group.
The walls of the TARAgram office too in keeping with the company’s ideology are clad with scraps of waste material sourced from companies such as Puma and Blackberry.
Current initiatives of TARA are the manufacture of handmade paper utilising waste paper and waste hosiery, pulverised coal ash technology package, use of sponge iron waste in brick making, stone dust abatement, use of crusher industry dust for building material, creation of renewable energy from waste biomass and production of cooking fuels from waste biomass and biogas.