The Tribal Initiative (THI), Harur PO, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu
Contact: Dr. Lalitha Regi
Dates: April 2022 – March 2023
Total Budget: Rs. 5, 11,600
Working with the women of the remote tribal population of Lambadi tribals, The Tribal Initiative (THI) hopes to make them self-reliant and prevent migration and the resultant health threat in the Sittilingi valley. Porgai was the brand name selected to market the products of this initiative.
A motivation drive was conducted in the villages within the Sittilingi valley along with interviews of aspirants wishing to join this training. The three villages selected were based on their locations as none were next to each other. This ensured a distributed enrollment across the valley.
While embroidery skills remain the strength and identity of the Lambadi tribe in the valley, the need for sustainable livelihoods is prevalent in other communities too, hence this training will help Porgai provide an income to the greater population of the valley and not be limited to the Lambadis alone.
The training was delayed due to an unforeseen circumstance of the main trainer and designer suffering a health setback which she took 3 months to recover from. However, now things are back on track.
The main idea is to use all the fabric scraps generated by Porgai team in their regular production and create saleable products from the scraps, thereby making every bit of fabric count. While two crafts of rope making and hand quilting have been chosen, it was decided to start with the simpler of the two crafts techniques that requires only basic sewing skills. Hence patchwork was selected.