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Senna, Bicycles & Schools: Indian Girls Riding To New Futures

Here in the United States, no one would think twice about a girl biking to school, but in India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan, a girl going to school—on a bike, no less—is a radical concept. In Rajasthan’s rural desert communities, water is scarce, and women and girls must spend their days walking miles to the closest pond, carrying water back home for their families, crops and livestock. This leaves girls with little time for school, and even if some were allowed to attend, many live too far away.

In 2009, we launched the Revive! Project®, initially to introduce organic farming to communities that cultivated senna, the laxative herb used in our Smooth Move® teas. With the help of our partners—Traditional Medicinals Foundation, WomenServe, Umalaxmi and Martin Bauer—we’ve expanded our focus, using water and food security initiatives to foster women’s empowerment and help reduce poverty. The Revive partners have already been instrumental in the construction of five schools, impacting 950 local children. We’ve also donated over 350 bicycles to give more children—particularly girls—newfound access to education, opportunity, and hope.

Today, Rajasthani girls are riding to new futures, empowered to create their own destinies for the first time. At Traditional Medicinals, we believe that our business can only thrive when every stakeholder benefits: the farmers and collectors in our sourcing communities, our employees, and our customers. That’s why we don’t think of the Revive Project as charity. Really, it’s just good business.

Watch the two-minute video to learn more about the profound impact of a simple bicycle. You can also visit WomenServe to make a donation or see Traditional Medicinals Foundation to find out about the other social development projects we fund in our sourcing communities.

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