Famous for Iri silk, Arunachal Pradesh will soon have the first of its kind Silk Training cum Production Center in its far-flung tribal village of Chullyu, the Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry said on Monday.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is gearing up to launch the Silk Training cum Production Center in the first week of September, the ministry said in a release.
“The training cum production center is the first of its kind facility in Arunachal Pradesh and a big boost to weaving activities in the entire region,” KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said.
The KVIC has refurbished and converted a dilapidated school building into the training cum production center. The school building has been provided to KVIC by the education department of the Arunachal Pradesh Government.
Machinery like handlooms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums have already arrived and installation of machines are in full swing, the ministry said. It said the first batch of 25 local artisans of Chullyu village has been selected to begin the training with.
The ministry said that the project was conceived in February during the visit of Saxena to Chullyu.
Identifying a great potential of silk production and other activities of village industries in the village, Saxena immediately sanctioned setting up of a training cum production center for the Eri Silk, which is traditionally worn by local tribals.
The work, however, progressed at a slow pace due to Covid-19 lockdown.
Recently KVIC also distributed 250 honey bee boxes in Chullyu village which has rich flora for production of high-altitude honey.
Where is Chullyu village?
Chullyu village is located on the main highway about 30 km before the most popular tourist spot Ziro. Chullyu is a scenic village known for its eco-friendly ways of living. It is easily approachable by tourists which is an advantage for the local artisans.
“Training of artisans and supporting the production of Eri Silk, which is indigenous to the North Eastern states, will create local employment and sustainable development in the region which is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat… KVIC will also create an exclusive page on its online portal to market their products,” Saxena said.
The development assumes significance as the tribal population in Arunachal Pradesh, men and women alike, traditionally wear Eri Silk and Khadi Cotton clothes which carries a deep significance to their egalitarian tribal society. However, the people of the state have to buy silk from outside markets, including those in Assam.
KVIC has also planned design intervention by engaging professional design institutes like NIFT Shillong, NID Jorhat and even local designers in Arunachal to develop new designs to suit the modern taste of tribal youths.
KVIC also aims to connect the center with the tourists visiting Ziro tourist spot and thus providing an assured market to the local artisans for their products. The production center will be equipped to cater to the market demand. For the initial period, KVIC will also provide raw material and expenditure on training and wages and the cost of developing the prototypes of new designs, the ministry added in the PIB release.