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The far-flung tribal village of Chullyu in Arunachal Pradesh will soon be bustling with spinning and weaving activities with Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) set to open the first of its kind training-cum-production-centre of silk in the state. Conceived six months ago, the centre will be launched in the first week of September. The KVIC has refurbished and converted a dilapidated school building into the training-cum-production-centre. The school building has been provided to KVIC by the education department of Arunachal Pradesh government.
Machineries like handlooms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums have already arrived and installation of machines are in full swing. The first batch of 25 local artisans of Chullyu village has been selected to begin the training with.
The project was conceived in February this year during the visit of KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena to this tribal village Chullyu. Identifying a great potential of silk production and other activities of village industries in the village, Saxena immediately sanctioned setting up of the centre 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 honeybee boxes in Chullyu village which has rich flora for production of high-altitude honey. Located on the main highway just 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.
“The centre is the first of its kind facility in Arunachal Pradesh and a big boost to weaving activities in the entire region. 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,” Saxena said. “KVIC will also create an exclusive page on its online portal to market their products,” he added.
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 National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Shillong and National Institute Of Design (NID) Jorhat along with the local designers in Arunachal to develop new designs to suit the modern taste of tribal youths.
KVIC also aims to connect the centre with the tourists visiting Ziro tourist spot and thus providing an assured market to the local artisans for their products. The production centre 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.