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University fillip to budding designers

- 13 women complete first AAU course

Jorhat, Sept. 21: Assam could soon see women apparel designers sprucing up the fashion scene in the state with Assam Agricultural University (AAU) completing its first certificate course by training 13 women in apparel design and construction.

In a move to empower women to take up the vocation independently, the first batch of students, taught by teachers of the clothing and textiles department of the College of Home Science under AAU, passed out today. It’s a welcome change for the university, which had only degree courses in colleges affiliated to it.

University vice-chancellor K.M. Bujarbaruah, who gave away the certificates at the valedictory function at the IDA complex of the university here today, spoke on the relevance of fashion designing as a vocation.

Referring to the tailors of today, he said most of them were not trained properly to give a perfect finish to a shirt or a pair of trousers and also that apparel brands had flooded the market and there were opportunities aplenty to explore the field, thus making this training all the more important.

“Fashion designing and tailoring are in the forefront of today’s glamorous age and the women trained in this course were now equipped with a rudimentary knowledge of going about the business as well as how to procure loans and manage their enterprises if they decide to start one,” he said.

“We are happy that the clothing and textiles department of the College of Home Science took the first initiative in starting the three-month certificate course which started on June 25. More such courses will be taken up gradually by the departments of tea husbandry, fishery, animal husbandry and bio-fertilisers,” Bujarbaruah said.

The director of research, Bolin Hazarika, said clothing was one of the three essentials in a person’s life and learning how to sew would enable them to buttress their income.

“In earlier days, many women stitched frocks and clothes for their children but because of a surfeit of readymade apparel available in the market, this has become a thing of the past. However, in rural areas its importance is still there as these clothes which are costly are unaffordable and hand-stitched clothes looking as good as the readymade ones and cheap would obviously sell,” he said.

The first batch was trained in making clothes for infants and in women’s wear. A course is being planned by the department to teach them about men’s wear.

The department has also submitted two more training proposals — in dye and printing and in fabric embellishment.

The next six-month certificate course in tea husbandry is scheduled to start from November 5.