In a small district named Keonjhar in Odisha, some 200 tribal women gather every day to work and weave together the threads of soft silk into beautiful and lightweight Tasar sarees.
Manufactured by Bhagamunda Tasar Silk Park (BTSP) the six-yard drape is handwoven by these women, who learnt the art just only a year back. Most of them were into household work until BTSP opened their gates for them.
Officer in charge of the BTSP PK Mohapatra, said, “the objective was to double the family income by involving both the man and woman of the house along with ensuring sustainable earning for them throughout the year.”
A first of its kind initiative in India started by the Textile and Handloom department and Keonjhar administration with a concept of ‘farm to fibre to fabric’, the BTSP has been a turning point in their lives in terms of skill development and financial independence.
This industry had taken a major hit and lost its charm, but later due to government efforts, a turning point came in 2017 and gradually the production went up.
Along with sarees, they also produce jackets, kurtas, stoles, dhotis, masks, and handheld fans.
It’s six-yards of hope, indeed!