The Telegraph
Saturday , June 21 , 2014
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Tata Group brings Okhai to steel city
- Bistupur store remodelled to sell apparel, handicraft created by Gujarat women

The Tata Group is having new designs on an old shop of the steel city.

Tata Steel Urban Services department and Tata Chemical Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) have joined hands to remodel Karigar, a shop in Bistupur market selling artefacts made by women self-help groups, as a unique handicraft and handloom store offering the famous items made by Gujarati women and sold through Okhai outlets.

Karigar-Okhai, as the retail store is now known as, opened doors on Friday. Amitava Bakshi, chief of procurement, Tata Steel, inaugurated it in the presence of other officials of the company.

Exquisite designs from Gujarat have been blended with modern works to create colourful dupattas, kurtis, patialas and anarkalis that are on sale at the new shop. Folders, terracotta and dokra showpieces, baskets and handicraft products are the other offerings.

“Women empowerment is a common objective for both Tata Steel Urban Services department and TCSRD and hence, the two came together to bring Okhai to Jamshedpur. Karigar-Okhai is a great platform for small artisans who create beautiful, ethnic handicraft items,” Bakshi said.

Karigar used to sell artefacts made by SHGs formed by Tata Steel Urban Services.

“We have been working with about 450 women at Mithapur in Gujarat and the SHGs there are supported by TCSRD. This initiative is to empower women and they have been doing quite good as far as marketing of their creations is concerned. We work in different fabrics — be it silk or cotton with a variety of stitches and designs,” said Nusrat Dayamakumar, sales and marketing officer of Okhai that promotes handicraft made by the women of Gujarat.

The price range suits the pocket.

The apparel come for Rs 750 to Rs 2,000 with the rates rising on silk products.

However, at present, the store has mostly stocked on cotton items as the complete collection is yet to come from Gujarat. Okhai has roped in designers from the National Institute of Design (NID) to guide the Gujarati women in designing the apparel. They have used natural colours to create an eye-catching range.

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