North East Network

The North East Network (NEN) in Nagaland started Chizami Weaves, a weavers’ livelihood program. Chizami Weaves would buy the yarn, teach the weavers the shapes and sizes for contemporary crafts like cushions or table mats and Chizami Weaves would market the finished goods in exhibitions all over the country.

The seeds of socioeconomic and environmental reform in Chizami were planted back in the mid-1990s, when Monisha Behal, a women’s rights activist and founder of the North East Network (NEN), landed in Nagaland with the aim of improving women health standards in the state.

Focusing on health issues, women’s rights, community programmes, food security, and environmental conservation, what makes this development model extraordinary is that economically marginalised women put together their heart, blood and sweat in the village’s transformation, something that is deeply entwined with the traditional practices of the region.



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