The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 29 , 2013
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Grass gifts a living

- World Bank aid for Paradip women

Paradip, May 28: A sort of silent revolution is sweeping across a sleepy village here with homemakers weaving magic out of wild grass.

The dexterous crafts from wild grass, which otherwise are of little use, has made the women from Baro village bubbling with self-confidence.

The skilful crafts received the much-needed recognition last year when the then World Bank president, Robert B. Zoellick, visited the crafts village on March 29, 2012, and appreciated the creative attributes of the local craftswomen.

Nearly 1, 000 women of the village have helped their families with golden grass craft.

Golden grass (Vetiver zizanoids), locally known as “Kaincha ghasa” is a wild grass abundantly found in many parts of the district.

“Grass crafts were in vogue in these parts for generations. But none had taken it as a profession to augment family’s income. In recent years, government agencies provided us the fiscal incentives and opened the doors for the exposure of these products. Now our earning has gone up. We are happy to stick to grass crafts making as an alternate livelihood option,” said Sampad Mahapatra, a homemaker, who heads the Budhi Jagulei Mahala Samity, a women’s self-help group.

“We have decided to cover the craftswomen under the World Bank-sponsored National Rural Livelihoods Mission. The incentives and funding will a go a long way to invigorate the crafts-based economy of the village,” said the district unit chief of the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society, Subal Kumar Jenamani.