Women-only training centre boosts Sambalpuri weaving

Maneswar: In a bid to provide employment, raise the number of weavers and, at the same time, augment production of Sambalpuri clothes and sarees, a training centre has been set up at Gadagada Bahal under Jujumura block in Sambalpur district.

Sambalpuri clothes which are in great demand in and outside the county are generally woven by some particular communities in this part of the state. Meher (Bhulia), Kuli, Kusta and Ganda communities have been into this traditional occupation for long.

However, with the passage of time, some of these communities have been distancing themselves from this means of earning livelihood, resulting in a sharp decline in production. To popularise and augment production of Sambalpuri weaves, the need for opening a training centre has been felt. Keeping this in mind, the training centre has been set up. Only women from non-weaving communities are being imparted all the nitty-gritty of weaving Sambalpur cloth.

“The sole aim of this centre is to produce more Sambalpuri cloth weavers and see an increase in the production,” says Prashant Pujhari, president, Boyanika.

The training centre, opened by Boyanika and managed by the state government, has young women from nearby villages and tribal communities like Kisan, Munda and Sahara learning the art and craft of Sambalpur sarees and clothes.

A total of 30 women are receiving training in two phases from a trainer who teaches them basics to advanced weaving techniques.

Initially, they are taught the knack of making thread, doing rolls and weaving handkerchiefs and towels. After successful completion of this stage, they will be trained on saree and ‘pata’ weaving.

The trainees get stipend from the government. After the training, they will be given incentives like raw materials, loans on low interest rate, marketing facilities for their end products, etc to enable them earn between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 a month.    PNN

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