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Hi-tech training for weavers

Ranchi, Aug. 19: As many as 400 weavers of the state will be trained in creating computer-aided fabric designs to improve handloom and handicraft products, thanks to an initiative taken by Jharcraft.

Under the Rs 5-crore project, Jharcraft, in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) — an institute involved in research and designing, will help local weavers upgrade their skills and manifest their innovative ideas by using advanced tools and techniques. Also, the initiative will help weavers adapt to the fast changing global scenario and make their traditional handloom and handicraft products saleable in today’s markets.

While faculty members of the Calcutta-based C-DAC centre will provide the training, the state government will provide the infrastructure and other supports.

According to sources in Jharcraft, the weavers will undergo training at five different design centres —Ratu Road-based Jharcraft office in Ranchi, Hazaribagh Urban Centre, Deoghar Urban Centre, Latehar District Industry Centre and Seraikela-Kharsawan’s Akarshini Resham Vikas Kendra. Each centre will train a batch of 80 weavers.

Jharcraft’s managing director (MD) Dhirendra Kumar said everything had been finalised and the training would start from the next month. “We have joined hands with C-DAC. It’s faculty members will impart training in computer-aided handicraft and handloom designing, which will primarily focus on motifs of Jharkhand’s historical places, flora and fauna, tribal paintings and culture,” he added.

Elaborating on the project, Kumar said only 400 out of 60,000 weavers of the state had been selected for the two-year-long programme on the basis of their aptitude in designing, computer knowledge and weaving efficiency.

Moreover, since the weavers will have to stay in accommodations provided near the training centres, away from their families and without any work, Jharcraft will pay them minimum stipend for the duration of the training. “Rs 1.98 crore has been set aside for paying stipend to the weavers,” the Jharcraft MD said.

Kumar added that the handloom and handicraft were a very vital sector, capable of generating sustainable employment opportunities. However, most of the weavers in the state lacked basic skills and designing sense.

“This course will help them upgrade their skills and create a design bank. After the completion of the training, our weavers will be able to use samples from the design bank,” he explained.

This apart, the MD added, the trained weavers could also start small businesses on their own by forming small groups.