Madurai

Skills of rural woman artisans to be fine-tuned

A business initiative set in motion by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission to fine-tune skills of rural women artisans in making fibre products may soon take their products to international market.

The KVIC, under its Khadi Reform and Development Programme, funded by the Asian Development Bank, creates rural artisans’ groups to improve their livelihood by marketing their products after giving them due training or fine-tuning their skills. Moreover, this venture takes the rural artisans’ products to the national and international markets to fetch the right price for the products.

In this line, the Khadi Reform and Development Progamme, through a non-governmental organization, has coordinated 175 rural woman artisans who are experts in making decorative articles, bags and a other products from banana and cactus fibre and palmyrah leaf.

The KVIC has invested ₹ 1 crore in this venture of which ₹ 96 lakh is subsidy while the remaining ₹ 4 lakh has been contributed by the NGO, CAST (Community Action for Social Transformation) of Bhoothathaankudiyiruppu near Kalakkad in the district.

“The rural women artisans’ skills are fine-tuned in designing new products based on the domestic and international market trend after comprehensive studies. We’re targeting to reach the international markets with these world-class eco-friendly products,” said Collector V. Vishnu who inaugurated the training centre at Padmaneri near Kalakkad on Thursday in the presence of Shekhar Rao Perala, member, South Zone of KVIC.

Since the Kalakkad region is known for banana cultivation and known as ‘Banana Basket’ of southern Tamil Nadu, the artisans can easily get the raw material for their products. Moreover, cactus grows easily in this region housing several thousands of palmyrah trees.

The training centre, established on an outlay of ₹ 13.50 lakh, houses machineries worth ₹9.50 lakh to train the artisans and prepare the palmyrah leaf and fibre-based products.

This Centre has been given the task of producing products worth Rs.73.53 lakh annually and sell them with the marginal proft of ₹86.76 lakh.

“This business module will ensure the revenue of ₹ 4,500 to ₹ 500 per artisan,” says Mr. Vishnu under whose leadership a coordination committee has been formed to review the performance.

“The rural artisans getting coordinated by the KVIC gets medical assistance and life insurance benefits,” Mr. Shekhar Rao said.

He informed that experts from other States would be brought here to train the woman artisans in making the world-class ornamental products.

Mr. Vishnu has started working on taking the Pattamadai mats, earthenware of Kaaarukurichi, brassware of Vaagaikulam, Kaani Tribes’ organic products besides others to the international markets.

“The women, who were once embroiled in beedi rolling industry, have come out to try their hands in a different industry. Every woman artisan has the capacity to become an entrepreneur one day as we’re also equipping them with leadership quality and business skills,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 7:34:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/fibre/article35611972.ece

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