Weavers in Paithan moving towards digitalization

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-12-24 12:00:00 – Pune

The Pune Centre of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as designed a computer training programme as part of a free, tailor made course for the women weavers in Paithan, Aurangabad, who hardly stretched beyond the loom to create beautiful sari. With beginning of the new year 2017 they will also learn how to loop the computer.

The women weavers will also be able to complete a pre-graduation module through a special six-month Bachelor's Preparatory Programme ahead of graduating from IGNOU. Pushpa Pokale is among 500 weavers from Paithan and Yeola, Nashik, who will be part of the course.

The computer training programme will enable the women to browse the internet, understand the market and help improve their marketing skills. The programme has been tailor-made for the women to help them make presentations, said Masoon Parvez, senior regional director of the IGNOU centre in Pune.

The course would help the weaver put their work on the internet. As of now, they only cater to dedicated clients who come there to give them orders. This will hopefully change soon.

The course is part of a memorandum of understanding between IGNOU and Ministry of Textiles for skill development and educational upliftment of the weaver community. IGNOU has tied up with local study centres to augment learning skills and train the women.

The weavers are hoping that computer skills would help their cluster browse the internet, understand market requirement, and scout for designs for Paithani dresses as well.

One Paithani sari would cost between Rs25,000 and Rs1 lakh. Usually, customers approach them to place orders ahead of a function and it takes two to six months to weave one sari. Individual orders are taken and the amount is given in phases. However, in the last two months, demonetization has impacted the weaver community with orders reducing immensely.

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