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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Weaving a better future

By Subha J. Rao

COIMBATORE, MAY 23. With a view to helping self-help groups (SHGs) involved in weaving to earn on their own, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) is helping them in marketing.

For now, the DRDA has chosen about 25 varieties of saris, dhotis, poplin petticoats and clothes for babies, priced between Rs. 100 and Rs. 1,000, to be marketed by the District Supply and Marketing Society (DSMS).

"The DSMS will market these products in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi and get bulk orders," P. Jeyabalakrishnan, Project Officer, said.

At a meeting held at the Collectorate today, members of 100 SHGs from 19 blocks in the district brought samples of saris and others material woven by them for scrutiny by officials.

Once a sari was selected for marketing, the group concerned was immediately paid for the purchase.

Among the saris chosen was an off-white Kovai cotton sari woven by members of the Vennthamarai SHG from Periya Valavadi (Udumalpet block). Members of the SHG say that they earned only about Rs. 50 a day when weaving for other parties. "Companies would give us yarn and we would weave it on our looms. Now, with the loan offered by the DRDA, we can start production on our own and earn profits," they say.

The DRDA had already given them Rs. 60,000 as grant and a similar sum as loan for economic activity. But, the women used only part of the amount.

Now, they will be able to add to their loom capacity. Fourteen members of this group weave 14 different kinds of saris for catering to a wider market.

Plans are also afoot to exhibit the saris woven by women SHGs in the city.

At today's meeting, the DRDA officials taught the SHG members how to determine the sale price of their material.

"They were told to take into account raw material cost and making charges and keep a marginal profit for themselves," Mr. Jeyabalakrishnan said.

The DSMS will add a service charge of five per cent to the cost.

The DRDA is also sending samples to the Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association, the marketing consultant for State-level SHG federations, to look into export possibilities.

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