The far-flung Chullyu village of Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Subansiri district will soon be bustling with spinning and weaving activities with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) all set to open the first of its kind training cum production centre of silk in the state.

Conceived just six months ago, the KVIC centre will be launched in the first week of September.

The KVIC has refurbished and converted a dilapidated school building into the training cum production centre. The school building was provided to KVIC by the state’s education department.

Machinery like handlooms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums have already arrived and their installation is in full swing. The first batch of 25 local artisans of the village has also been selected for the training process.

The project was conceived in February this year during KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena’s visit to Chullyu.

Identifying a great potential of silk production and other activities of village industries in the village, Saxena had right away sanctioned the setting up of a training cum production centre for the Eri Silk, which is traditionally worn by the locals.

Eri Silk comes from the caterpillar of Samia ricini, mostly found in northeast India and some parts of China and Japan.

The work, however, progressed at a slow pace due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Located on the highway, around 115 km from here and 30 km from Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district, Chullyu is a scenic village known for its eco-friendly ways of living. It is easily approachable by a tourist which is an advantage for the local artisans.

“The training cum production centre is the first of its kind facility in Arunachal Pradesh and a big boost to weaving activities in the entire region,” Saxena said.

Training of artisans and supporting the production of Eri Silk, which is indigenous to the northeastern states, will create local employment and sustainable development in the region which is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he said.

Saxena said KVIC will also create an exclusive page on its online portal to market their products.

The development assumes significance as Arunachalees, men and women alike traditionally wear Eri Silk and Khadi Cotton clothes which carry a deep significance to their egalitarian society.

The commission has also planned a design intervention by engaging professional design institutes like National Institute of Fashion Technology, Shillong, National Institute of Design Jorhat and even local designers in Arunachal to develop new designs to suit the modern taste of tribal youths.

KVIC also aims to connect the centre with the tourists visiting Ziro, which is a tourist hotspot and thus providing an assured market to the local artisans for their products.

The production centre will be equipped to cater to the market demand. For the initial period, KVIC will also provide raw material and expenditure on training and wages and the cost of developing the prototypes of new designs.

The KVIC had recently also distributed 250 honey bee boxes in Chullyu village which has rich flora for production of high-altitude honey.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com