GUWAHATI, June 20 - In a novel initiative, SIDBI organised an exposure visit for artisans on June 18-19 to silk village Sualkuchi.
Twenty-five artisans, including 18 women, basically handloom weavers, belonging to the Bodo and Rabha communities from Silikhabari village in Sonitpur district and Baminigaon village, in Kamrup district of Assam were taken to the handloom cluster of Sualkuchi to provide them exposure to modern manufacturing practices highlighting the importance of quality management, design inputs, raw material handling and efficient production systems, a press release stated.
During the visit, on Day 1 the weavers saw large-scale production at Nath Industries operating 75 jacquard looms and Bastra Udyan operating 60 jacquard looms. The artisans were then taken to a graphic design centre viz., Thowlin Graphics Ghar for design inputs. Apart from logistics, overnight stay of artisans at Sualkuchi was also arranged by SIDBI.
On the second day, the artisans were taken to two weaving centres viz., the Jaya Silk Factory and Dandiram Das Silk Factory for knowledge sharing on quality weaving techniques. Thereafter they were taken to the raw material market to and guided on choosing quality raw material. The exposure visit was coordinated by DRISHTEE Foundation, a reputed pan-India NGO, also operating in Assam. The visiting group also included two certified trainers of TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited, operating under Ministry of Tribal Affairs).
The exposure visit is expected to help the weavers in understanding and making use of new and innovative designs, meeting production timelines, managing quality etc. The weavers so far have been mostly producing gamosa, mekhela sador, etc., mainly for their own use with only the surplus production being sold in local markets at low price during the weekly bazar. The exposure visit will help such weavers produce items with better designs and better quality to cater to market needs which will ultimately fetch better prices for them and explore better markets, thus enhancing their livelihood. Interaction between the two visiting communities of Bodo and Rabha will also promote cross-learnings.
The exposure visit was a part of a series of such visits planned by SIDBI for 225 micro & small enterprises (MSEs) to at least nine medium and large industries during the second fortnight of June across India. These 225 MSEs shall participate in first tranche of visits and it is proposed to cover minimum 900 MSEs during the current year starting from June 2018. SIDBI, during the current financial year, has planned 36 such visits across the varied geography. SIDBI’s regional offices are covering the length and breadth of the nation viz., Chandigarh, New Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai besides Guwahati.
It is proposed that the first tranche of visits shall cover Large and Medium Industries in Auto components (Victora Auto Pvt Ltd- NCR), textile (Mangal Textile Mills (India) Pvt), pharmaceuticals (Hetero Lab Ltd., heavy engineering (BHEL- Bhopal), General Engineering (National Engineering Industries Ltd), Original Equipment Manufacturers (Maruti India) apart from modern handloom manufacturing hubs like Sualkuchi. Through these visits, the SIDBI aims to widen the horizons of the industries, help them grow with a vision in their eye, expand as much as they can and make a good name for themselves, the release added.