Tag Archives: RWeaves

SAATH: ‘Innovative Livelihoods Promoter of the Year’

SAATH won the prestigious CMEA Award 2013

 Since 2004, Citi Micro Entrepreneur Awards is organised for recognizing the enterprise development in the country. In its tenth year, the Citi Micro Enterprise Awards, 2013 was organised by the Citi Foundation and ACCESS for recognizing the community based enterprises and organisations that have played a pivotal role in promoting livelihoods. This year SAATH has won the award in the category of ‘Innovative Livelihoods Promoter of the Year’ as the organisation that is promoting and nurturing livelihoods and micro enterprises.

CMEA-2_______________________________________________________

The Urban Resource Centre and RWeaves initiatives of Saath have been instrumental in winning for this award.

Urban Resource Centre (URC) started in Saath in 2007 work as one stop centre for the urban poor. The URC bridges the information gap between the services providers and service users. It provides knowledge and resources to the urban poor to deal with important documents and processes. It also monitors and evaluates development in the community, advocate and run campaigns related to various issues of slum dwellers. Currently the 4 URC’s (3 in Ahmedabad and 1 in Rajkot) have a reach of 27,697 households, impacting approximately 1,38,485 individuals in a year.

RWeaves started in 2010 is a rural development initiative that provides livelihoods, training and marketing support to various artisans of Surendranagar district specially Tangaliya, Patola, Cotton and Recycled products. RWeavews is currently operating in more than 10 villages of Surendranagar district supporting 20+ artisans and marketing 80% of their products. An outlet has also been opened at the head office of Ahmedabad for promotion and sale of RWeaves products. _____________________________________________________________

The Award ceremony was held at Taj Hotel, Mumbai on 13th December and on behalf of SAATH Ms. Keren Nazareth, SAATH’s Executive Director, Ms. Devuben Parmar and Mr. Babubhai Rathod, Community Leaders were present to accept the award. Accepting the award Ms. Keren (Saath’s Executive Director) says, “This award is a recognition of the work that we do at Saath. We are committed to improving lives of the urban and rural poor and such encouragement and support, further strengths our opportunities to carry out our work. Saath works with a vast range of stakeholders which include, women, youth, artisans, construction and domestic workers, we have so far impacted over 4 lakh households through the years and aim to scale up our work to reach more and more such vulnerable communities”. Ms. Devuben (Previous head of URC and currently head of Urmila Home Manager programme) says, “We are thankful to CMEA for recognizing our work and spreading word about us. There are many areas in which we still haven’t ventured out where we will try to reach through our work this year and win the award again next year”. Mr. Babubhai (Community Leader and Artisan associated with RWeaves) says, “I’m very happy that Saath has won this award. In the future Saath will move ahead for the profit of its beneficiaries and keep on working for the welfare of the common man. I’m sure in the coming years we will win many more awards for our work”.

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The craft roots of Tangaliya

This weekend (24th – 26th of March) a Craftroots exhibition will be held at Rajpath Club, Ahmedabad. (View invitation here: e-invitation-craftroots). Rweaves will be present at this exhibition, with a variety of Tangaliya, Patola, Khadi and Best-out-of-Waste products! To warm you up for this event, we’d like to give you some background information about Tangaliya.

Tangaliya is a weaving art native to the Dangashiya community of Surendranagar, Gujarat. The Dangashiya community is a mixed community of weavers and shepherds (Bharwad). The weavers made blankets and shawls out of sheep and goat wool for the shepherds to wear. They developed a special technique of weaving, also known as Dana work, only known to the Dangashiya community. Tiny dots of extra weft are twisted around a number of warp threads, giving an effect of bead embroidery to the fabric. This intricate process of twisting extra weft while weaving creates beautiful geometrical patterns and forms.

Tangaliya is woven on a pitloom: a small ans simple loom that is installed in a pit. The loom is operated by two footpedals (in the pit), leaving the hands of the weaver free for the dana-work. Traditionally, a tangaliya shawl is about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. Shepherds wear it in the fields and their women wear It over a petticoat on special occasions. A traditional pitloom is 2 feet wide. To make a traditional shawl, a 20 feet long piece of fabric is cut in two and then the sides are stitched together.

Nowadays Tangaliya work is made in fine cotton and is used for a wide range of other products. Rweaves helps the artisans from SUVAS* to brand their products and to make contemporary designs to ensure them of a sustainable livelihoods.  Recently Tangaliya obtained the GI tag (Geographical Indication), confirming  the uniqueness of this weaving art.

If you want to see how Tangaliya is made, please visit Rweaves at the Craftroots exhibition. A loom will be installed and you can watch the artisans perform their weaving skills.

* SUVAS is a federation of rural artisans from Surendranagar, Gujarat. SUVAS is promoted by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Gandhinagar, in association with Saath Livelihood Services and CARE India.

Intern Fridays with Patola Polash

Polash Mukerjee was an intern at our organization in June 2011. He is studying Development Studies at the IIT in Chennai. Read his story below!

I worked with one of Saath’s rural initiatives, RWeaves. Through this initiative, Saath promotes traditional Tangaliya and Patola workers, through microfinance loans, procurement assistance and through facilitating sales in Ahmedabad and other cities of India. My internship consisted of working on the pricing of RWeaves products, in order to determine the optimum price, in accordance with fair trade standards. In my opinion, RWeaves is an excellent programme that helps not just sustain but enhance the livelihoods of the rural artisan of Northern Gujarat. Saath is doing its part in reviving the heritage and the vision of cottage industries that Mahatma Gandhi had.

Interning at Saath was an excellent experience. Although Saath was my first formal internship, I didn’t really feel out of place. The entire process helped me learn not just a bunch of stuff that I couldn’t read about, in a book, but more importantly, how to learn on the go. I learnt how to work in a group, and individually. I learnt what it feels like to be yelled at (no names mentioned!), and what appreciation feels like. The people I met at Saath, including some of the artisans, were really warm individuals who excelled in their own spheres. I really have to mention Kiranbhai, who was more patient with my requests than required, and Narsinhbhai of Kataria, Limbdi, whose Patola Sari’s were products of exemplary skill and craftsmanship.

Overall, I have to say my learning experience at Saath was fun, exciting, frustrating, and eye opening.

Picture Time Saturdays: Weaving Patola

A woman preparing silk threads for Patola weaving in Kataria Village, Surendranagar. This woman and her family are a member of the Rweaves programme intiated by Saath and SUVAS, a federation of artisans from Surendranagar. Rweaves supports rural artisan communities, offers a marketing platform for local artisans and prevents ancient weaving arts from extinction.

For more information about Rweaves, download the brochure by clicking here.

Launching Rweaves!

Saath has been working with Patola, Tangaliya and cotton weaving artisans from Surendranagar since 2006 through the Snehal project supported by CARE India. The project ended in 2009 and through it, a Federation was set up of the artisans. Today the artisans have better linkages to raw materials and can purchase them at an affordable rate from the Raw material banks set up through the Self Help Groups. However, marketing is still a problem for these artisans. Most of them have to individually seek out retailers and wholesalers who will sell their product, or if they are lucky individual buyers seek them out.

What is R-weaves?

After 4 years of working with artisans along with NIFT in improving their access to affordable credit and developing contemporary designs for more marketable products, Saath has recognised a need to link artisans to markets and also to increase their profits by developing a marketing and retail outlet in Ahmedabad for sale of Tangaliya, Patola and Cotton products.

Patola

Patola is a weave, the raw material used for patolas is traditionally silk. In comparison this Patola is from Patan in Gujarat. However the Patola that we refer to here is the one from Surendranagar district. It is a single ikat (Ikat is the Indonesian word that means knot). Weaving these products is an intensive process that include the entire family from dyeing of the silk threads, marking the design and then the weaving. A saree takes approximately 10-12 days to complete from the very first process of spinning the silk onto a spindle.

The products in Patola have been diversified from traditional sarees to stoles, scarves, cushion covers. Similarly more contemporary designs have been introduced along with the traditional patola weave.

Tangaliya

A product of the Dangasiya community in Surendranagar District, the name originates from the cloth worn traditionally by the Bharwad community’s men (herdsmen), until very recently where it was adapted to the design of the weave, which is unique and labour intensive. Every dot in the design is made by the artisan wrapping yarn around a number of threads, which brings out the design on both sides.

Earlier only wool was used in making products especially shawls, and dhaablas (blankets), this has been expanded to using cotton and making products such as kurti materials, dupattas, cushion covers, napkins, coatis etc.

Best out of Waste

India has always been a land of making the most out of a resource and in a similar effort families in Surendranagar use old sarees to fashion foot mats, rugs, runners, and asans (long mats for seating diners traditionally). This innovation helps use old synthetic sarees and also supports entire families through the income earned.

Hand woven Cotton

In the land of Gandhi, where large machines today manufacture miles of yarn, there are still a few families that weave cotton on wooden looms preparing a blend of soft designs of this cool fabric. The material is sold by the metre, but one can also find sheets and curtains of these.

The Exhibition-Sale will be held:

Date: 6th—8th Aug 2010 (Friday-Sunday)

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 6: 00 p.m.

Venue: “Shree Ramdev Villa”, 1 – A, Aagman Row Houses, Nr. Satatya Heights, Prernatirth Derasar Road Jodhpur Gam,

Ahmedabad – 380 015