BENGALURU: East Godavari is one of the regions in Andhra Pradesh that has witnessed many farmer suicides. This is also the region that is known for its soft cotton and its very local weaves.
Weaving supports the farming income and is critical in times of a bad crop.
In an exhibition that ends today, there will be sarees that were woven in Mori, a village in East Godavari. It is brought to the city by The Registry of Sarees, or TRS, an organistion that connects weavers to their consumers and experts.
Saree exhibitions are all to common in this city, but what makes these weaves interesting it where it comes from. Mori is to turn 'smart' next month, under a project that is being run by the University of California at Berkeley and the government of Andhra Pradesh.
This will be done “using digital tools, real time information and uninterrupted internet connectivity,” says Ally Matthan, of TRS.
The Smart Village Project, as it is called, will look to improve infrastructure, livelihood and education. As part of this, the Project roped in TRS to help the weavers connect with the consumers in Bengaluru. The Registry found several weaving families had given up the occupation because it is no longer lucrative. But, under this project, the effort is to revive it. One of the reasons is the weaves are unique. “These sarees are very region specific so much so that the weavers refer to them as (line) Pedda Gadhi Sarees, (line) Ancha Gadhi Sarees,” says Ally.
TRS is managed and run by Apoorva Sadanand whose core expertise is business strategy, Kausalya Satyakumar a textile expert and Ally, an entrepreneur. Weaving is a family based activity.
“Women help in making the yarn , spinning, weaving and dying, as do children,” says Ally, “men engage in the loom activities.”