550 Bijoypur Silk artisans of Murshidabad district are all set to be trained under the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), an acknowledged national resource institute for entrepreneurship education, research, training and institution building. The three year-long project and will work on empowering rural artisans through capacity building initiatives. The aim of the project is develop Mulberry Silk Cluster through intervention program in three villages of Murshidabad. The project is under the cluster development scheme SFURTI of Ministry of MSME and Khadi Village Industries Commission, Government of India
Murshidabad is traditionally known for it’s silk production. However, most of artisans working in this area are socio-economically poor and engaged in traditional reeling and weaving activities. Through it’s interventions, EDII is reviving the silk cluster by providing technical support to more than 550 artisans, where 226 of them are women and more than 40% are from the Scheduled Caste.
30 hand operated reeling and twisting machines, 30 pit looms, 35 single jacquard looms and 35 double jacquard looms will be distributed to new artisans for increasing productivity as well as quality.
“The project aims at empowering the rural artisans through capacity building program and establishment of Common Facility Centre (CFC) in areas of designing, printing and diversification into fashion garments. This includes making facilities apart from reeling, twisting and weaving. With the project interventions it is estimated that the turnover of the cluster will reach more than Rs.8 Crores annually in the next five years compared from its present turnover of 2 Crores.” Says Subir Roy, Cluster Development Manager, EDII. He also estimates the income of artisans will rise up to Rs.10, 000 per month from their present average monthly income from Rs.3500.
Over 550 new artisans have been roped in the first phase of intervention to produce silk garments and sarees. In addition, there is provision to create 250 new indirect or direct employment opportunities in the value chain of various silk products in next 5 years. EDII also looks to establish market linkages with leading exporters and retailers in the country including reputed retail chains and major B2C e-commerce portals. The cluster will also work for marketing tie-ups with exporters and traders for overseas and inter-state markets.
EDII has designed the project with two major components, soft and hard intervention. Under soft interventions, the emphasis is on imparting awareness camps, networking with professional institutes and traders and skill development training of the new artisans. Under hard interventions, development of raw material bank and setting up of CFC with technical support will be carried out.