The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is set to open the first-of-its-kind silk training cum production centre in Arunachal Pradesh’s far-flung tribal village of Chullyu. Machinery like handlooms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums have already arrived at the centre, and installation of machines are in full swing.
Conceived just six months ago, the centre will be launched in the first week of September. The KVIC has refurbished and converted a dilapidated school building into the training cum production centre. The school building has been provided to KVIC by the education department of Arunachal Pradesh government.
The first batch of 25 local artisans of Chullyu village has been selected to begin the training with.
“The training cum production centre is the first of its kind facility in Arunachal Pradesh and a big boost to weaving activities in the entire region. Training of artisans and supporting the production of eri silk, which is indigenous to the northeastern states, will create local employment and sustainable development in the region which is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said. “KVIC will also create an exclusive page on its online portal to market their products,” he added.
The development assumes significance as the tribal population in Arunachal Pradesh, men and women alike, traditionally wear eri silk and khadi cotton clothes, which carry a deep significance to their egalitarian tribal society. However, the people of the state have to buy silk from outside markets including those in Assam.
KVIC has also planned design intervention by engaging professional design institutes like NIFT Shillong, NID Jorhat and even local designers in Arunachal to develop new designs to suit the modern taste of tribal youths.
KVIC also aims to connect the centre with the tourists visiting Ziro tourist spot and thus providing an assured market to the local artisans for their products. The production centre will be equipped to cater to the market demand.
For the initial period, KVIC will also provide raw material and expenditure on training and wages and the cost of developing the prototypes of new designs.