D.V.L. Padma Priya
Eight youths from the weaver community, employed in odd jobs, find a viable vocation after training in weaving and dyeing
HYDERABAD: It was a skill that literally ran in their blood. But it was an opportunity that was missing for a good 20 years. For these eight rural youth from Kolluru village in Adilabad District, weaving might not have been a natural livelihood choice, but it surely paved a way out of their poverty.
For D. Bhaskar, A. Suresh, D. Damodar, D. Mahesh, D. Chandrashekar, D. Sampath. V. Nagesh and R. Srinivas, the wheel of fortune turned in their favour when they were identified by Dastkar Andhra (DA), a city-based NGO. Aged between 20 and 24, the eight hailing from the weaver community were living in abject poverty. Many had dropped out of school and had been employed in odd jobs.
Their condition was brought to the notice of DA in 2006 when an older group of weavers in nearby Chennur informed them. A year’s training in weaving and dyeing, and the youth were all set to weave their own fortunes. “They were quick in grasping what was taught,” says V. Dharmender, in-charge, DA Production & Design, DA. Apart from appointing a master weaver to train them, DA also paid them a monthly stipend of Rs.1,000. “What motivated us to take up weaving was the fact that we didn’t have to work under anybody,” says D. Chandrasekhar.
Even after graduation, D. Sampath, a former teacher at a government school, finds weaving a sustainable livelihood optionHere to participate in a DA design workshop, they swear by their new found profession. Now named ‘Individual Weavers Co-operative Society’ as a group, they now earn anything between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 9,000 individually per month.
“They are very confident now and have even paid back their bank loans,” says Ravinder of DA. He said they were identifying similar youngsters from backward regions of Andhra Pradesh. “As long as they are interested in learning weaving, DA is ready to assist them,” he says.