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Common facility centre for sungudi sari units opened

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nice: Collector N. Mathivanan looking at Sungudi saris and other products on display at a Common Facility Centre for weavers, inaugurated at Avaniapuram in the city, on Wednesday.
nice: Collector N. Mathivanan looking at Sungudi saris and other products on display at a Common Facility Centre for weavers, inaugurated at Avaniapuram in the city, on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Collector assures to look into plea for permanent expo space

MADURAI: The building for a common facility service centre for the Federation of Tie and Dye and Hand Printed Textile Cluster self-help groups involved in weaving the famous sungudi saris was inaugurated at Avaniapuram near here on Wednesday.

This is a joint venture of many agencies with the Indian Bank providing a total of Rs.18.25 lakh to 73 artisans (Rs.25,000 each) to buy the 1.1-acre land and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) providing Rs.25 lakh for constructing the building and the Small Industries Product Promotion Organisation (SIPPO) overseeing the implementation.

Delivering the inaugural address, N. Mathivanan, Collector, said that while nearly 1,000 families from Sourashtra community were involved in this sector 700 years ago only around 250 families were still continue the trade.

Apart from the infrastructure, training to upgrade artisans’ skills was given. Five design and technical workshops were conducted enabling them to come out with new products like hand bags, besides introducing value addition to the saris, he said.

Under social intervention, 108 workers were given Artisan Identity Cards covered under the Janshree Bima Yojana and their children were (standard 9 to 12) given education scholarships of Rs.1,200 a month, said Mr. Mathivanan.

He also assured the artisans that he would positively look into their demand for a permanent exhibition venture and a proper approach road to the centre.

Preserving history

Speaking earlier, R. Shankar Narayan, Assistant General Manager, NABARD, said that such clusters would help preserve the sungudi sari and its 700 years of history. Apart from opening an exclusive web site for them, he said that the Madurai Sungudi had been registered in the Geographical Indication Registry through the Office of Assistant Director of Handlooms.

R. Nithyanandan, Deputy General Manager, NABARD, said that this cluster was an example of NABARD’s commitment to rural development.

S. Rajagopal, Chairman and Managing Director of SIPPO, sought the assistance of DIC and KVIC to move the units from the congested urban areas to rural localities.

S. Maruthappan, General Manager, District Industries Centre (DIC), said that the cluster model of development was being actively promoted by both the State and Central governments.

M.T. Wakode, Director of Madurai Division, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), said that locating such a centre in a remote place would ensure that the entire locality gets infrastructure development.

J.S. Kuppusamy, president of the federation, said that more facilities and equipment would be brought to the centre soon.

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