A GumCha is the original: cotton scarf, towel, hat, skirt, and air conditioner and are used by millions of hard-working people every day. GumCha are handloomed by rural farming families in West Bengal, India, from 100% Indian cotton. GumCha are about 64”-69” long and from 25”-29” wide, yet only weigh about 4 ounces. There are over 10,000 distinct patterns and color combinations, and because they are handwoven, each is unique.
Drastic increases in the cost of Indian cotton during the past five years, (due to increased trade with China), have made it difficult for weavers to earn an adequate income from weaving 100% cotton GumCha. Many families have been forced to stop weaving and find other sources of income, including becoming day laborers on construction sites far away from their homes and farms. The difficulty faced by weavers could be a permanent result of the now-globalized Indian cotton market.
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“I am so pleased to have received my order of GumCha scarves. I will be giving them as gifts to family and friends. I think your GumCha project is very imaginative, and a wonderful way to raise money for your program while helping to support local weavers.”
– SE, Washington DC
“Received our three gumchas today. Everyone is excited. They are so colorful and designed in such good taste. Have to be pleased. Furthermore, my purchase will go for such a good cause.”
– JL, Buffalo, New York
GumCha4Health, LLC is a social business designed to triple the income of subsistence farmer/weavers for weaving GumCha and provide a self-sustaining funding source to support programs for projects that address the health, economic, and educational needs of the rural poor in agriculturally based communities.
GumCha4Health continues a 30-year partnership of advancing self-sufficient, self-sustaining, community-based health and development solutions that focus on the needs of rural families and communities. This strategy has successfully promoted and supported the development of a) primary health, b) maternal health, and c) infant and child health models that can be sustained within local economies.
We didn’t know how to explain the many uses of GumCha to American people who have never seen a GumCha. The young women students at one of the nursing schools support by this project have come to the rescue.