Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thanks to NIFT, Siddi women carry a wallet of their own.

Source: Moulin Parikh, DNA   |   Last Updated 05:10(29/06/11
Ahmedabad: For the women of the Siddi tribe residing in Hadmatiya village in Junagadh district, the daily routine would involve cooking food for the family and then rushing to the farm to lend a helping hand to their husbands. Now, this routine is set to change after a team from NIFT, Gandhinagar, trained them in purse and wallet making.
An initiative by Development Support Agency of Gujarat (D-SAG), an autonomous society set up by the tribal development department of Gujarat, the project named 'Primitive to Contemporary, Siddis of Junagadh' was aimed to provide an alternate means of livelihood to the tribals. Thirty women were trained for a period of four months at Hadmatiya.
Siddi women visited the NIFT centre in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, to see their handicrafts put on display. Certificates were also handed over to the women by Ashwini Kumar, CEO, D-SAG and additional secretary, and by Sameeta Rajora, director, NIFT.
It was a proud moment for most of the women who had never ventured out of their village. "Initially, we were quite hesitant but soon started enjoying the various steps involved in purse making," said Sama Chotiara, a mother of two. "The village had become my new home and it is very satisfying to know that my efforts will help these families lead a better life," said Meghal Darji, who provided most of the training. While most of the women were illiterate, there were few members like Rihan Chotiwala, a class XII pass. "Despite being the most literate in my village, I did not have a major source of livelihood. With this training, I can now look forward to earning money by supervising these products before they go to the market."
Leader of the tribe, Hanifa Masgool said, "Our future generation cannot work on the farm and make money. They need to rub shoulders with the outside world and this is how it starts."
"The purses and wallets made by the Siddi tribe will be attached with a doll, which doubles up as the branding logo. The products will initially be made available at the Gir forest's souvenir shop," said NIFT's associate professor F&AD, Panchami Mistry.

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