A group of women weavers in the northern buffer of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve located in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh are a happy lot today. These women belonging to the Tharu Hath Karga Gharelu Udyog – a Self Help Group (SHG) have recorded significant increase in revenue from sale of their wares in 2020 - thanks to the technological interventions that have improved their looms.
In order to correct imbalance of traditional looms resulting from excess moisture in soil due to flooding of the area in monsoons, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) fixed the base of the looms. They also added a second set of pedals in them, making them operable by two weavers, thereby reducing the production time of the durries and weave complex designs.
Wooden shuttles used traditionally were replaced with fiberglass shuttle, which is lighter and more efficient. Two pulley based designs - Garrari system and Rope roller system were designed to avoid disruption of work continuity while adjusting the thread roller and durrie roller of the loom for getting a blank thread panel to weave.
These technological interventions realized with funding support under TARA Scheme of Science for Equity, Empowerment & Development (SEED) Division, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and implemented through Core Support Group- WWF India have reduced the inconvenience caused to the women and also increased the efficiency of operations with quality production through a number of ways. It has also set up a centre for production in terms of technological interventions, modification, and improvisation.
“We used to work in a makeshift structure earlier and were never able to work during the rains. Now with the production centre in place, the number of working days and our productivity have gone up,” said Arti Rana, President of the Tharu Hath Karga Gharelu Udyog at Gabroula village.
This has resulted in augmenting of incomes and capacities of the weavers. The group recorded sales of Rs. 250,000 in the year 2016-17 with a net profit of Rs 85,000 and Rs. 240,000 in 2018-19 with a net profit of Rs. 82,000. In 2019-20, they recorded a sale of Rs 2,08,000 with a net profit of 80,000. The sales comparatively went down in 2020 because of the lockdown however, from November 2020 to January 2021, the group has sold merchandise of Rs. 42,000.
The women were also trained on skill-building, design improvement, quality control, as well as standardization, and costing. They were also supported to establish market linkages and improvising the existing looms in order to make them more convenient and efficient to use.
The Tharu Hath Karga Gharelu Udyog was felicitated by the Honorable Prime Minister in 2016 and awarded the Rani Laxmibai Veerta Purankar of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The state government has promoted their products and placed an order of Rs. 900,000/-for their products to be supplied from 2018 to 2020.