Grass mat products for eco-friendly, organic consumers worldwide: Tribal handicrafts from East Singhbhum accessible through TRIFED – West Bengal

Antara Bose, The Telegraph, Kolkata, Monday , May 14 , 2012

Grass mat weavers in Janumdih village, East Singhbhum district’s Potka block, will soon see their products selling in retail stores of countries whose names they may not have even heard about.

The village, 60km from Jamshedpur, has as many as 80 women and three men who weave grass into mats — hence the term grass mat — and taking off from that basic item, more evolved products such as curtains, coasters, dustbins, magazines, wallets and folders. Promoted by Jamshedpur NGO Kalamandir, their products are sold in Calcutta, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune. But now, they are poised for a greater leap.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (Trifed), under the Union ministry of tribal affairs, has agreed to e-market and export the grass mat products. Trifed will also upload pictures of the “completely organic” products on its website and connect to eco-friendly, organic consumers such as GreenEarth.

It could well be the economic surge that the weavers — who even now double up as paddy farmers to supplement their income — have been waiting for. […]

“I have been making grassmat products for the past seven years and can earn a decent living despite living in a remote village. Now, we are looking forward to sell abroad and earn much more,” said Sapna Sit of Janumdih. […]

She added that they were being trained to make their products ready for exports. “It’s good to improve one’s skills. I want people from around the world to appreciate what we do,” said the seasoned craftsperson.

“We have trained them in new designs for 15 days in April. Now, Trifed will again train them. Skill enhancement is essential. The export market is very quality conscious. But the effort is worth it, as the export market will help villagers earn global recognition,” said Rashmi Murmu, a member of NGO Kalamandir, which has facilitated the project since 2005.

Will people abroad buy Janumdih’s grass mat products? Tell [email protected]

Source: Rural grass greener on export turf
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Date Visited: Tue Nov 18 2014 13:03:48 GMT+0100 (CET)


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