Khadi’s first silk training-cum-production centre to come up in Arunachal soon

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The far-flung tribal village of Chullyu in Arunachal Pradesh will soon be bustling with spinning and weaving activities with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) set to open the first-of-its kind training-cum-production centre of silk in the state.

Conceived just six months ago, the centre will be launched in the first week of September and the first batch of 25 local artisans of Chullyu village has been selected to begin the training.

The KVIC has refurbished and converted a dilapidated school building into the training cum production centre. The school building has been provided to the KVIC by the education department of Arunachal Pradesh government on zero rent.

Machinery like hand looms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums have already arrived and installation of machines is in full swing. The project was conceived in February this year during the visit of KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena to the tribal village of Chullyu.

Identifying a great potential of silk production and other activities in the village, Saxena immediately sanctioned the setting up of a training cum production centre for the Eri Silk, which is traditionally worn by the local tribals. The work, however, progressed at a slow pace due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Located on the main highway just 30 km before the most popular tourist spot of Ziro, Chullyu is a scenic village known for its eco-friendly ways of living. It is easily approachable by tourists, 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 the weaving activities in the entire region,” Saxena said.

He said that training of artisans and supporting the production of Eri Silk, which is indigenous to the northeastern states, would create local employment and sustainable development in the region which is aligned with the Prime Minister's vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.

“The KVIC will also create an exclusive page on its online portal to market their products,” he added.

The development assumes significance as the tribal population in Arunachal Pradesh, men and women alike, traditionally wear Eri Silk and Khadi cotton clothes which carries a deep significance to their egalitarian tribal society. However, the people of the state have to buy silk from the outside markets, including those from Assam.

KVIC has also planned design intervention by engaging professional design institutes like NIFT Shillong, NID Jorhat and even local designers in Arunachal to develop new designs to suit the modern taste of tribal youths.

The KVIC also aims to connect the centre with the tourists visiting the Ziro tourist spot and thus provide 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, the KVIC will also provide raw material and expenditure on training and wages and the cost of developing the prototypes of the new designs.



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