Kalimpong, 12 Jul:
In a bid to revive the old glory of Kalimpong Arts and Crafts, Mani Trust, a social organization of Kalimpong, has taken the initiative to revive the traditional crafts of Darjeeling hills and promote sustainable livelihood under its Initiative - Employment Opportunity for Livelihood Sustainability [EOfLS].
Mani Trust, with the support of West Bengal Khadi & Village Industry Board, is opening Kalimpong Crafts Training Centres in different parts of Hills. Thus far, a total of 21 such centres have been inaugurated in the Darjeeling Hills.
Another such centre was inaugurated today at Sitong-1 Tea Estate, under Kurseong Block, Kurseong Sub-Division in the presence of Mani Trust Chairman, Subash Mani Singh.
Local women will undergo a three-month long training in handloom weaving and will be provided a stipend of Rs 3000 per month for the duration of the training.
In his inaugural address, Mr Singh said, “The goal of the institution is to empower rural women to become self-employed and economically stronger. Even before our country’s independence, Kalimpong Arts & Crafts used to export its handmade products to different countries but during the agitation in the mid-80s, it lost its glory. In order to bring back Kalimpong’s heritage, we are establishing Kalimpong Craft Centres in the hills. Within two years, we aim to provide training to 2000 beneficiaries. 50% of this target has already been achieved.”
Under the current scheme, women will also be given special classes on pattern designing.
Once fully trained in designing, the women can start production on their own after provision of production centres, raw materials and funds.
Recently such a production centre was inaugurated at Suruk in Kalimpong by West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board Chief Executive Officer, Mrityunjoy Byandyopadhyay.
Mr Singh further highlighted the market aspects of the goods produced by rural women under Mani Trust’s brand ‘Kalimpong Crafts’ and in sales outlet of WBKVIB.