“Gye[稧]” is a type of traditional cooperative created and maintained for the needs of rural residents. JTS India is currently using the “gye” culture to operate a dishware cooperative in Bihar Dungheshwari Village.

In Dungeshwari, wheat is an agricultural staple, so based on the agricultural cycle, May is the most relaxed month, and since people have the time to attend weddings during this period, weddings are usually held in May. When May comes, you can feel the wedding “vibes” from the entire village. On the downside, weddings put a strain on the finances of the families of the brides and grooms due to dowry requirements, food preparation for wedding guests, and the increased demand for kitchenware.

JTS was heartbroken to see villagers struggling financially every time there was a wedding, funeral, or other family event. And so after much discussion, JTS decided to form a “dishware gye” cooperative to ease each family of the financial burden of buying dishware.

There are currently 11 “dishware gye” cooperative groups operating in 7 different villages. Each group consists of 10 people, and every member pays about 500 rupees, the equivalent of 8,500 Korean won.The daily wage for Indian workers is 4,200 won. To the 5,000 rupees collected by the group, another 5,000 rupees is added by JTS and the 10,000 rupees is used to purchase dishware in the Gaya market. As joint property of JTS and 10 village members, dishware can be rented daily for 200 rupees.The rental fees accumulated are used to repair or replace dishware.

Due to the success of the dishware gye cooperatives, a threshing machine was purchased and used for last year’s harvest in Rahulagar village. Before, villagers had privately rented threshers which significantly added to their financial burden. However, by purchasing their own threshing machine, villagers are now able to save money every harvest. It should be noted that JTS does not simply hand out materials or equipment, but rather empowers and encourages people to become more independent.The villagers are re-discovering the benefit of working together as a group. We look forward to a beautiful world through cooperation.