Kozhikode: Jute Fair, exhibition cum sale of jute products has begun at Jaya Auditorium in Kozhikode. Around 30 jute entrepreneurs from different parts of the country display their products in the fair, organized by National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
A wide variety of bags, ornaments, handicrafts, wall hangers, gift items and life style products are available in the fair at promotional rate. From money purses to big shoppers; puppets to play swings, the beauty of eco- friendly golden fabrics attract many. The amazing splendor of traditional yarn has been identified with modern art and craft. Most of the articles have been made of pure jute. Some others are mixed with cotton fabric for specific need and perfection.
“Natural yarn mix flooring mats have good market in Kerala. “- says the team of Mallika Cottage Industries from Chennai. Another attractive merchandise of this group is Thamboolam (betel leave) Bag, specially designed for marriage purpose.
Most of the floor mats are handmade with wide array of colors, patterns, designs and multipurpose utilities.
The price range of handmade play swings are rupees 350 to 2000. Both light and dark colored yarn are used for making these elegant products. White colored swing with brown border shades has a dazzling bright spark.
“It requires patience, imagination and good craftsmanship to make a swing.”-says a Kolkata based entrepreneur.
“We are running self help group in households to manufacture jute piece. Fifteen women are employed in one unit.
Our products are entirely handmade.” – says proprietor of Kolkata based Swarup Handicrafts.
There are beautiful jute puppets ornamented with grandeur. The faces are built in plaster of Paris and hands and body shapes are supported with cotton material.
Lion share of Indian jute products are based in Kolkata. Later southern states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka entered in the jute industry. The ban of plastics and non –biodegradable packages has made new entry for jute products in domestic market. Foreigners are also attracted in jute items thanks to its eco- friendliness and bio-degradability. India earns about 1100 crore by exporting Jute Diversified Products.
Vetri Women-empowering the woman
The name itself stands for women. This self help group, promoting jute products has been established in Coimbatore. The leading entrepreneur Anarkali says on the merit
of using the environment friendly jute bags and other products. She runs her jute bag manufacturing unit at Podanur in Coimbatore. At present Vetri Women employs twelve poor women.
They are earning a good income for eight hours work.
Lot of ladies bags and shopper’s bags are presented in her stall.
Vetri Women, Podanur
“Even a small jute bag can carry comparatively good weight than other carry bags. These environment friendly bags are long lasting and washable too. We procure raw material from Kolkata and our products are designed and made in Coimbatore unit by our dedicated craftswomen. Even the making of a tiny money purse requires hard work and patience, because each of the bag pieces is cut manually to get perfection. Our price range differs from 10 rupees to 450 depending on the production cost. Apart from the production unit, we have a show room in Coimbatore to sell bags and similar items.”
Anarkali says family support has been a great blessing to run the business successfully. Her husband is focusing the marketing and promotional aspects of jute items along with trade link with yarn producers.
Vetri is also providing training for self help groups and individuals interested in jute. It had given job training for one of the Kudumbasree units in Thrissur. Interested groups should arrange the infrastructure. Vetri will provide raw material along with training at marginal cost.
When asked whether she wants to expand her unit, she said “Definitely, I have dream and plan. But at present it is not easy to set up more because it requires extra raw material and manpower. Recently the tax of raw material has increased by four percent.
Swarup Jute Center, Kolkata
The great advantage of the self help group is the government fairs across Tamilnadu where we get free stalls to promote our sail”-says Anarkali.
Innovative mind for aesthetic ideas and dedicated effort for success has been the mantra of this self help group. Jute fair will conclude on 13th February.