The Tribal Initiative (THI), Harur PO, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu
Contact: Dr. Lalitha Regi
Dates: April 2022 – March 2023 (extended to 2024)
Total Budget: Rs. 5, 11,600
The objective of the project is to empower the remote population of Sittilingi Valley, prevent migration, and promote self-reliance, while training the women in using natural materials and hand skills, practicing sustainable techniques, and adhering to fair trade principles.
During the past one and a half years of this project, 20 women are being trained in crafts making. As part of this project, the women have developed new products that complement existing groups and enhance the overall output and brand “Porgai.” Training encompasses not only hand skills but also design, costing, and market exposure. The initial products made were sold in an exhibition in January in Chennai and in February in Mumbai and were received well.
Women have completed quilting three groups of cushion covers. With little input they have come up with the designs themselves. Now that the trainees are into the spree of creativity, there is no barrier to the size of cloth. They have made a 16inx16 art quilt which has opened new doors of confidence that can be reimagined and extrapolated for any other product of varying sizes.
Training has begun for rope making, with the prototype in progress. Further training and design development of products with the ropes made are planned, aiming to complete the final products by March 31, 2024.
The project experienced delays due to the main trainer and designer’s health setback, causing the timeline to extend. As the project moves forward, it aims to not only enhance the economic welfare of more people in the Sittilingi Valley but also to explore further opportunities for traditional craft expansion. THI is working diligently toward wrapping up the entire project, including rope making and quilting, by the end of March 2024.