New weave: skilling through correspondence

Weavers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi and other places can soon access specially designed distance education to hone their traditional skills and turn entrepreneurs.

Weavers will be taught marketing, design and e-commerce. File photo

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Union Ministry of Textiles have tied up to provide education to weavers and their children through a specially designed curriculum.

“We want them to understand the market, designs and e-commerce in a better way. Moreover, we want traditional weavers from different parts of India to understand one another’s styles better. They will get certificates once they complete the courses,” said a well-placed source in the Central government.

The initiative will focus on identified weavers’ clusters such as Varanasi, Sivasagar, Murshidabad, Tiruchi, Prakasam and Guntur. Specialised subjectsThe MoU signed on Sunday between NIOS, which focuses on education in open and distance mode, and the Textile Ministry requires them to collaborate to “offer secondary and senior secondary level education with specialised subjects on design, marketing, business development, etc., for handloom weavers and their families through knowledge sharing, resource optimisation, and synergy of institutions” through open schooling, an NIOS note said.

The number of people engaged in hand weaving and allied activities in India is 43 lakh. A census conducted in 2009-10 revealed that “the level of education of 83.3 per cent among adult handloom workers is below high school/secondary,” the official note said.