Kaithoon is home to the renowned fabric of Kota Doria- a fine fabric made of a blend of silk and cotton has a unique check-like pattern.
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.
The goal is to ensure sustained and dignified livelihood for the rural women handloom weavers as well as continuation of this unique craft.
Shenaz Bano is a woman Kota Doria weaver. She comes from a small village called Kaithoon on the outskirts of the city of Kota in southern Rajasthan.
Shenaz is a part of the group and works with 10 other women weavers. The weavers weave a range of products like sarees, dupattas, plain fabric, etc. Shenaz learned this craft from her ancestors.
The craft Kota Doria is renowned in India as well as in the international market.
The pandemic caused havoc in the lives of the weavers. During the lockdown, the weavers faced great difficulty to go to banks, and markets to procure raw materials and withdraw/deposit money. The problems increased as the group experienced a huge drop in orders and piled up stocks.
During such tough times, the group’s savings came as a blessing. Some amount was distributed among the weavers to manage their daily requirements and continue their work. It also provided for the medication needs of the weaver families during COVID.
Shenaz expresses that they have learned a lot till now. She adds, “Before AIACA started working with us, we never stepped out of the house and we were never comfortable even with the idea of traveling alone. We are now able to come to work, visit the bank and markets on our own. Additionally, we don’t feel hesitant anymore to talk to people while traveling for exhibitions.”
Shenaz thanks AIACA for supporting the group in the time of need.