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Jharcraft to bail out Gua women

Ranchi, Jan. 19: Jharcraft has joined hands with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to empower women of villages in the mining township of Gua in West Singhbhum, promising them a steady livelihood by means of weaving silk.

Managing director of Jharcraft — the state-run corporation to promote silk — Dhirendra Kumar and general manager (Gua Ore Mines) of SAIL’s raw material division signed an MoU on Thursday for setting up a weaving centre and generate income for local women.

The Gua Ore Mines area has a population of around one lakh, including rural women who rely on agriculture and forest produce to make ends meet. A majority of the women is deprived of basic necessities, as earnings from agriculture and forest produce are meagre.

The SAIL-Jharcraft tie-up is aimed to help them turn the tide. The weaving centre will consist of looms and weaving equipment while Jharcraft will provide training and guidance in designing.

“We will be imparting two-month training in weaving techniques and new designs to the women,” said the Jharcraft MD.

Kumar pointed out that apart from rigorous training, Jharcraft would also offer market linkage support in production. “We are aiming to provide sustainable support for these women, who are deprived of decent livelihood.”

The total cost of the project, which includes infrastructure upgrade, is Rs 15 lakh. Initially, 10 looms will be installed to train 30 women. Depending on their progress, the training programme will be expanded.

Kumar said they would also impart training in developing designs, motifs and patterns on a regular basis. “Our designers will provide them training in both modern and contemporary design according to market demand,” he said.

Based on their skills, the women will be able to earn between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per month at the end of the training programme.

Junior manager (liaison) of SAIL’s raw materials division Kameshwar Prasad said, “Jharcraft will provide all necessary support for design, raw materials and marketing of the products.”

SAIL is committed to CSR activities in the southern part of Jharkhand under the major heads of health, education, vocational training and self-employment. The MoU will help generate employment for local women.”