CUTTACK: The traditional Kantha embroidery work of Cuttack is in for huge image boost with uniform sarees of school teachers in increasing areas of the State donning the hand stitched designs and borders.
An initiative aimed at financial empowerment of women, particularly from the Muslim community in Cuttack, as well as infusing new life into the centuries-old artistic heritage of Millennium City, has begun to set roots with the value addition becoming hot property in the market.
The producer group Hazzi Ali Federation at Kesharpur here has taken up the work of hand embroidering school saree uniforms as well as getting borders stitched on them. The uniforms have been assigned as per cadre with pink for primary teachers, maroon with yellow border for anganwadi workers and off white or matha coloured body with maroon border for secondary school teachers.
The federation decided to give the sarees a facelift and an experiment was undertaken last year. It proved to be an instant hit prompting the group to upscale their venture on a commercial scale. The decision of the Government to get traditional Sambalpuri borders on the sarees has also upped their activities as they could get them stitched on the readymade sarees.
The federation with help of Odisha Livelihood Mission, Cuttack established a raw material bank at Cuttack. They tied up with weavers cluster at Nuapatna for providing them borders with Sambalpuri design for stitching on the sarees. The products are now in huge demand with the group selling over 2000 sarees a month to around three wholesellers.
“Our sarees are now available across the State. While the demand has risen, it has also brought in higher remuneration for SHG members. A swarojgary now earns around Rs 6000 per month by value adding the sarees,” group coordinator Mohsin Mallik said.
With ban on polythene in the city, KGN has also ventured into jute bags along with a host of other stationery and fashion items like files and folders, designer bags, furnishings and hangings. The district supply and marketing society (DSMS) has taken up the responsibility of training and facilitation services for them, Chief Executive Bipin Behari Rout said.