Women artisans put Dhenkanal on global map

DHENKANAL: They are not academically qualified but are enterprising enough to take on the world. A group of creative women of Gobardhanpur and Karmul villages in Gondia block, 27 km from here,

Published: 08th March 2012 02:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:31 PM   |  A+A-

DHENKANAL: They are not academically qualified but are enterprising enough to take on the world. A group of creative women of Gobardhanpur and Karmul villages in Gondia block, 27 km from here, have won accolades in the country and beyond for their exquisite tribal jewellery designs.

It all started as a mere desire to add to their family incomes. As many as 140 artisans, mostly women, formed six self- help groups (SHGs) and ever since there has been no looking back.

Gobardhanpur appears like any other remote village. The approach road is dilapidated and living conditions are no better but it virtually is a storehouse of talent.

 A young jewellery designer Chumuki Moharana (23) has been touring Kolkata, Bengaluru and other cities across the country to impart training besides displaying and selling the craft works. Their products include bracelets, earrings, anklets, hair clips, belts and a variety of necklaces for both men and women. Almost all art works are priced between ` 40 and `2,000. Supporting them in their endeavour is Anwesha, a voluntary organisation.

The good news is that these young artisans are also bringing in foreign currency as their products get marketed in the USA, China, Germany, Italy, London, Japan and other countries.

Another woman artisan Malati Moharana, 15 years in the business, said the government should extend adequate financial assistance and take steps to export the products besides ensuring financial returns. This would go on to ensure a better livelihood for these groups, he added.

One Arun Moharana, imparting training on tribal jewellery in several national institutes across the country, said several foreigners come to the village as tourists. Recently a foreign artisan from Switzerland, Raymond Christian, imparted training to women on value addition to their designs and marketing skills. They are exporting their products through other agencies in Kolkata.

Boosting their morale are institutes like National Institute of Development, Ahmedabad, and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), which have been inviting these women to impart training to their

students.

However, Malati said more training is needed on designing to increase export quality of the products. Machinery and improved communication networks are

necessary.

District Supplies and Marketing Society, a unit of ORMAS, Nigam Das, said the Government should declare these villages as craft villages with development of their infrastructure and facilities.

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