Jorhat MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa on Thursday asked weavers to go for designing with the help of computer software and bring out quality products.
Addressing the Weavers Interaction Beneficiary meet at the CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology here, Tasa said that just because they belonged to rural areas did not mean that they could not avail the help of technology in designs.
“If you make something ensure that it is not run of the mill. If you make something different and attractive it is sure to sell. When you make a gamosa, give it quality and a different spin. In Delhi I met MP Kiron Kher, who was wearing a silk salwar suit. On enquiring she told me that it was made of Assam paat,” he said.
Regarding women empowerment, Tasa referred to Lijjat papads and the women of Jammu and Kashmir engaged in the carpet industry.
In Jorhat he called for setting up of handloom weavers’ village clusters where women could become self-dependent through weaving.
Tasa said that preference for handmade things had again gained ground over machine made goods and the weavers were sure to get a good price.
Tasa further said that CSIR-NEIST should also look out for market linkage.
This came in wake of the Institute informing the Member of Parliament about the large number of weavers they had imparted training to in handloom weaving in the district under the CSIR Integrated Skill Initiative.
He further asked the director of CSIR North East Institute of Science and Technology to set up a facility in or outside the campus where weavers could sell their products.
“The Institute can set up a centre with 5 feet by 5 feet rooms where they can sell their wares. This place is centrally located and many people visit the Institute,” he said.
Regarding banks not being able to recover loans, he asked representatives of the two banks, Kamkhogin Vaiphei, DDM, NABARD and Seiminthang Haokip, Branch Manager, IDBI to rope in the Handloom and Textiles department in the district to monitor those who availed the loans and ensure that they be repaid. Then only can more loans be given, he said.
Earlier, D Ramaiah, director, NEIST highlighted how the Institute was working to make technologies relevant to society and were engaged in training in different spheres like plumbing, welding, mushroom growing besides weaving, in employment generation, trying to create an organic hub and in food processing technology.
Dipankar Neog who is in charge of the weavers training said that 60 weavers had been trained in Titabar subdivision of Xilikhabari Kothalgaon, 60 in Panisokua and the third session was underway at Kakajan Bongaon in which 40 were being trained.
Prakash Thakur, who heads the NGO Society for North East Handmade Paper and Development, with which NEIST has collaborated, said the next step was to rope in a designer who would give the weavers ideas about colours and motifs.
In the meeting about 27 Joint Liability Groups were given loans by IDBI.
A joint liability group has to have a minimum of 4 members and maximum of 10 members.
In a break from what has hitherto been considered protocol, Tasa felicitated the director of NEIST with a gamosa.