Coffee Santhe aims for sustainable livelihoods to women

Prefect brew

The office-bearers of Women's Coffee Alliance-India (from left) Renuka Gangadhar, Sunalini Menon, Radhika Uthappa, Urvashi Malhotra and Hamsini Appadurai at a press conference on Monday. DH PHOTO/B H SHIVAKUMAR

The city is to host the fifth edition of the annual Coffee Santhe from January 11 to 13 at the Orion Mall in Yeshwantpur.

The Coffee Santhe is organised by the Women’s Coffee Alliance - India chapter (WCA-I), to support women labourers across coffee plantations in the country. 

WCA-I was founded in 2013 with a focus to provide sustainable livelihoods for women labourers in India’s coffee plantations.

The 33-member WCA-I India chapter, will help raise money for providing better education and health facilities to women coffee plantation workers and their daughters in Kodagu, Bababudangiri, Chikmagalur, Biligiris, Sakleshpur and other coffee growing regions.

“The mission of the event is to sustain women coffee farmers, including the women coffee plantation workers and their families, by ensuring food, nutrition, health and economic security,” Radhika Uthappa, the WCA-I president told DH.

The Coffee Santhe brings together women from diverse coffee growing regions of India. The focus of the fair is to empower the less privileged women in the coffee growing sector.

Initially, it wasn’t easy for the women’s collective. 

“In 2016 we organised health camps in the non-traditional coffee growing regions of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh and Sakleshpur in Karnataka,” says Sunalini Menon, WCA-I member, and an expert on coffee.

“Women labourers in coffee plantations are highly prone to urinary tract infections and other gynecological complications. We have travelling gynecologists visiting plantations occasionally. This has helped us cure the women workers’ health issues,” explains Sunalini Menon.

The funds for the camps at the Araku Valley came from two WCA-I members themselves, as the collective could not raise funds in the beginning. But now, the Coffee Santhe contributes to the cause.

“We started the annual Coffee Santhe to fund our projects. For the second health camp at Sakleshpur, the proceeds from the annual Coffee Santhe 2015 was utilised,” adds Menon.

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