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SARAS fair weavers made the best use of computers and other modern technology to design attires for better display of the art. In the past, weavers use to weave mekhela chador with traditional looms, which took long hours of hard work.
A group from the Joypur block participated in Sale of Articles of Rural Artisans Society (SARAS) Fair and showcased mekhela sador with embroidery patterns designed on computers for the last three years. “We realized that use of computers is very important for us as it makes our work easier and faster. We design the embroidery patterns in the computer and use machines to make multiple copies of it,” said Pompy who underwent one month of training at Dibrugarh. Pompy added that she also showcases her work in boutiques and participates in various competitions.
“With the use of computers, we can come up with one mekhela sador a day. Along with that, we also make various art and craft items like dolls, paintings and various decorative items,” said Parul Mech, who is currently undergoing computer training.
There was a wide array of products displayed by many first-time participants in the fair. For instance, Hunma Chetia from Jugipothar village of Guijan block had pitha, pickles, handmade bags and the traditional mekhela chadar in her stall and said that next time onwards she would focus on one particular product to enhance the sales. Another first-timer, Lalita Patir from Ghilamora said, “The women in the village used to depend on animal and livestock rearing before. Now we have 10 members in our SHG who weave clothes and earn about 1500-2000 a month.”
SARAS fair was held from December 11-22 which brought various rural artisans and Self Help Groups from around 17 states. “Our objective is to build a livelihood for women, yet it goes beyond that. SARAS provides exposure to rural artisans to know the urban market so that they can design their future products better and interact and learn from each other,” said Nandita Hazarika, Mission Director, ASRLM.