The centuries old textile tradition in India has continued to
thrive. Even today, handloom clusters in Bengal are known for their unique
designs and techniques. These
handloom saris have bewitched wearers with their bright colours and tribal
embroidery on the ‘pallu’ (the part of the saree which is let loose) rendered
entirely by handlooms.
The women behind these intricate designs and
embroideries, see earnings not more than $80-$95 every month. They reside in
the Burdwan district of West Bengal, which is famous for its weaving centres.
Here, children study in nearby government schools for which they travel long
distances. Due to financial constraints or the pressure of domestic chores, a
lot of these students drop out. Erratic electricity supply is another problem,
but several of these households have turned towards solar lanterns. The roads
and other infrastructure remain under-developed. Women here still give birth at
home. Regardless of all these problems, this community remains vibrant and has
a strong sense of brotherhood.
Milaap, through its field partner
SMGBK, has decided to help 100 women from Burdwan district of West Bengal
achieve an improved position in the economy, by raising funds for them to
develop their traditional handloom enterprises. With the funds, these ladies
will purchase cloth in bulk, and upgrade their handlooms.