Khadi Board takes up silk khadi project in Bengal following success of project muslin
Kolkata: Buoyed by the success of project muslin, the West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) is taking up a project for development of silk khadi in Bengal. The project will encompass 14 of the 23 states in Bengal.
"Our main objective is to train the artisans in churning out products as per the present market demand. We will provide them with infrastructure and most importantly, create a platform for marketing of their products," said Mrityunjay Bandopadhyay, CEO of WBKVIB.
According to a senior official of WBKVIB, the 14 districts that
have been earmarked for the project, have been divided into two
categories, namely backward and non-back-ward.
Five districts - East and West Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah and Nadia fall under the non-backward district section, while the nine districts in the backward category are West and East Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum, Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia, South and North Dinajpur.
1,900 artisans will be imparted training in the first category while in the second, 2,340 artisans will be trained. It may be mentioned that at present there are about 31 khadi institutions and societies working in the area of silk khadi in Bengal.
"They are mostly producing traditional 'silk than' and conventional 'silk knack' products. At present there is huge demand for silk khadi both in the domestic and international markets. We will equip them to cater to this demand and bridge the gap between supply and demand," the senior official added.
The WBKVIB will also explore value addition with integration of modern design. The project cost for the non-backward areas has been earmarked at around Rs 8.5 crore, while in the backward areas it will be Rs 9.51 crore.
It may be mentioned that silk is known as the queen of fabrics, which attracts consumers to buy these products. According to a senior official of WBKVIB, some of the challenges that are affecting the sector include stiff competition with power loom products, as the cost of production in khadi sector is high.
"We will also be taking adequate steps to overcome the challenges
like lack of storage facility, lack of quality control and testing facility and absence of branding," the official maintained.