II. Project Supported by Central and State Government Departments and Banks & CSR

4. Handloom Cluster Development

An Introduction : The handloom sector occupies a distinct and unique place in the Indian economy, besides being the largest generator of non-farm rural employment has immense scope for expansion. To provide requisite support/linkages in terms of adequate core & technical infrastructure, technology, product diversification, design development, raw material banks, marketing & promotion, credit, social security and other components that are vital for sustainability of weavers engaged in the handloom sector, The ministry of Textile, GOI has sanctioned integrated handloom Cluster Development scheme during 2009-2010 for the weaver’s communities from Lodhikheda village in Sausar block of Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh. We have supported and developed this cluster as per the guidelines of Ministry of Textiles. Few activities conducted under this programme are :

1) The Baseline Survey : Before starting with the actual implementation, we had analysed situation through identification of actual situation of the weavers. A detailed meeting was held where the weavers, their leaders and peoples representatives actively participated and appreciated the sanction of cluster development at Lodhikheda. All 95 participants unanimously agreed to involve themselves in the cluster development programme. In the entire project has been wholeheartedly welcomed by the weaver’s community of Lodhikheda.

2) Formation of Consortium: We have constituted a “Lodhikheda Hatkargha Vikas Samiti” for effective implementation of handloom cluster. The samiti has been formed out of the weavers who have were wholeheartedly involved for the development of Lodhikera cluster. While implementing the project, it is found that over 60% of the weavers at Lodhikheda do not have place at their houses for installing new looms. Thus Lodhikheda Hatkargha Vikas Samiti has requested the District Cooperative Registrar to handover few unused buildings for this purpose. Presently there are 137 members in the consortium, which is expected to go up to 200 in next 6 months. The new weaving training has made a positive impact on the weavers. Four raddle weaving has been introduced in the cluster by the designer. The wage earning has improved from Rs.200 per day to rs.300. This has made a positive impact on the community. Weavers who were working with Raymond factory have returned to weaving activity in the cluster.

3) Skill up gradation : Various trainings were given to the weavers on new designs, Stitching and embroidery work which is now showing a enormous effect on weavers who are producing beautiful ladies and gents garments. The production of the same has started at Lodhikheda cluster involving over 20-30 men and women weavers. In the process we had assigned a master trainer for both stitching and exclusive embroidery work who was facilitating to train the beneficiaries within the surrounding villages.

4) Construction of common facility centre : Under this cluster development programme we have established “Common Facility Centre cum Dye-house” which is supporting the weavers of lodhikhera with multiple facilities at a single location. For example conducting pre-loom, on-Loom and post-loom operations, for Quality check and Control Lab, display-cum-exhibition centre, meeting and training hall. This Common Facility Centre is also helping to hold various handloom related activities.

5) Publicity & Marketing: The handloom weavers, due to lack of education, in-adequate working capital and lack of market facilities etc. are unable to meet the requirements of the ever-changing market demands. This has made us to think on an idea of supporting a handloom garment manufacturing unit. For this we have formed a private limited company named as “Khushi Eco Products Private Ltd” which is duly registered under The Companies Act, 2013. This company has been promoted by the founder trustees of the organisation with the aim to empower handloom weavers and build their capacity to enhance competitiveness of their products in the domestic as well as global markets in a sustainable and reliant manner. This company has the directors involving the weavers and garment manufacturing women members. “KEPL” has planned to market systematically looking at the present market standards with the brand name “Khushi” For this, two showrooms have been established and are fully operational since December 2014 at Raymonds square, Borgaon near Saunsar and one at Chindwara City which are receiving good response from the public.
Financial Details of Amount sanctioned and released are as below: