In the Going Green project implemented by AIACA and Traidcraft Exchange (UK) supported by the European Union, the overall focus was on reducing poverty and improving quality of life among grassroot artisans in the textile industry in 6 rural clusters of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
AIACA has been working with the small and medium handloom weavers of Varanasi since 2014 to mobilize them into an organized collective, develop business capacities, provide direct market access, develop entrepreneurship and promote authentic handloom brocade weaves.
AIACA works in Kota with the mission of enabling Kota Women Weavers Organisation (KWWO), a registered Society of more than 1000 women weavers belonging to the Ansari community, to access greater market share and profit through facilitation of business support services, skill upgradation, design innovation and effective organisation management.
Through this project AIACA aims to build on its experience to provide strategic and need based business development support to the selected craft clusters/groups in terms of skill development and design innovation, production management, capacity building in organization and business management, strengthening of business skills, marketing and branding of crafts, establishing direct linkage between rural craft clusters and the market, and generating livelihood and profit for the producers.
Mubarakpur is an ancient handloom weaving cluster with evidence of fine silk weaving being practiced here since the 14th century. Even the famous medieval traveler Ibn Batuta had praised the high quality fabrics being made in Mubarakpur in his travel diaries. A luxurious satin weave with zari motifs had historically been the highlight of this area but over the years the handloom skill was lost leading to a decline in the fame of Mubarakpur.
As Odisha is a state rich in locally grown natural fibre, an intervention has been undertaken in a women artisan cluster of Baliapal Block of Balasore. The women of the region traditionally work with the local fibre called “Sabai” grass constituting an entire cluster of 550 artisans. Through a local community based organization “Adventure”, they have received intermittent and basic skill development trainings under schemes of DC Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, GoI, and have learned to make simple products out of Sabai grass primarily for local markets.
Haldipada Bamboo Works is an initiative of AIACA, which aims to empower bamboo artisans through economic and social development. Haldipada village is one of the poorest and most isolated Dalit artisans’ villages in the Balasore district of Odisha. The skill of weaving locally available bamboo for making utility baskets from thinly sliced bamboo strips for daily household use existed locally, but was not a source of income.
The Tribal Cluster Development Program, supported by RBS Foundation India, aimed at a very specific and targeted approach towards socio-economic sustainability of the tribal artisans while preserving and enhancing their tribal craft production. The main objective of the project was to develop three self-sufficient tribal clusters that are equipped with capacities, tools and techniques to preserve the craft forms and develop the potential to scale their operations to achieve sustainability.
AIACA created a digital space for Toda embroidery in order to create awareness about this very interesting tribe and their work (www.toda.org.in)
The portal is about the Toda tribe, one of the most ancient and unusual tribes of the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu, India. They are a small pastoral community who are also well known for their embroidery, a way of life, that they continue to practice through generations.
The project aimed to promote the production and consumption of eco-friendly textiles by improving the working and living condition of the artisans, through various grass-root interventions including research, trainings, dissemination, outreach and identification of key challenges faced in the sector.