Field survey by SFURTI team for establishing handloom weaver’s cluster at Bargarh

A handloom cluster is proposed to be set up in the Bargarh district of Odisha under the technical assistance of KIIT-TBI. To get the field level information, a team of three professionals from SFURTI- Anshik Hota – Senior Manager, Chinmay R Kumar – Manager and Subhasmita Sahoo- Young Professional – visited the handloom cluster located at Jhiliminda village of Bargarh. This survey was planned for 3 days to collect all aspects of information in terms of; socio-economic condition of weavers, product pricing, raw material cost, percentage of sales through different channels etc

The team interacted with 11 National level awardees cum master weavers about the technicalities of weaving, value chain of the sambalpuri handloom items and the way to move forward. The team then visited a few weavers’ home to see them at work. The team came across also young weavers working at home contrary to the general notion that the young generation is not attracted to their parental occupation.

The team met Ms. Sushama Karali, GM-DIC Bargarh. She assured the team all possible help in taking forward the proposed cluster at Jhiliminda.  She connected the team with Assistant Director Handicraft – Shri P.R Sahu and Deputy Director Textiles – Shri Sisir Nag.

The team along with Shri. Sahu visited one Bamboo craft-based cluster to understand the activities undertaken in the cluster and explore the possibility of setting up of another such cluster in Bargarh district.

During the team’s interaction with Shri. Sisir Nag, the Deputy Director Textiles (DDT), Bargarh, he was appraised about the modalities of SFURTI scheme and how it will benefit the weavers. He extended his help to set up the proposed SFURTI handloom cluster at Jhiliminda village.

The team met Shri. Ramkrishna Meher, who is a National Awardee. He has worked with Ministry of Textiles, GOI for 25 long years. He owns an outlet in Bargarh namely Meher’s sarees. He gave his valuable suggestion for the sustainability of the project in terms of; design development, maintaining quality standard, patenting of unique designs and effluent treatment plant for the CFC.

On 10th Feb, a meeting was conducted in Jhiliminda village where above 50 weavers joined the discussion. They were sensitized about the SFURTI scheme. The team addressed their queries relating to project tenure, ownership of project, project viability and marketing of products. Shri Nag, Deputy Director Textiles also addressed the gathering and motivated the weavers to be associated with the project

In the second half of the day, the team visited the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT), GoI, located at Bhatli, Bargarh. The team interacted with one senior lecturer Shri. Devendra Yadav and a technical expert Mr. Dilip Meher at IIHT. The professionals of the institute showed their interest to assist the weavers of the proposed cluster in training on tie and dye, technology infusion like CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and quality testing of finished products.  They also offered their technical help for the other two handloom clusters set up under the technical assistance of KIIT -TBI located at Udala and Binjhua of Mayurbhanj district.

In the evening (6.30 PM) the team met Ms. Monisha Banerjee, the Collector and District Magistrate of Bargarh. The meeting was also attended online by Shri. Samarendra Sahu, Advisor KIIT-TBI and other members of SFURTI Vertical. Ms. Banerjee cordially welcomed the team members and expressed her satisfaction that KIIT-TBI has decided to set up the proposed handloom cluster at Jhiliminda village of Bargarh district.  Advisor KIIT-TBI appreciated the support of district administration during the field visit of KIIT-TBI team and assured the collector that the team with its vast experience of working for SFURTI projects would make an all-out attempt to complete the project at a record time.  The collector also requested the Advisor to set up an agro-processing cluster in Bargarh district since the district is quite rich in production of agricultural produce.

The team visited a market outlet named Tantashala located at Bandutikra, Bargarh and interacted with Chaka Meher who is the Master weaver cum trader in Tantashala. He helped the team to understand the pricing structure for handloom products and their market orientation.

Next day, on 11th Feb the team met Shri. Sampurna Pradhan, Secretary, Sambalpuri Bastralaya. Shri Pradhan shared with the team information relating to the marketing channels for handloom products and various bottlenecks faced by the handloom sector in Bargarh district.

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