Express News Service

RANCHI: Jharkhand, known for producing quality silk, is now heading towards becoming a hub of silk sarees.

The Jharkhand State Khadi Board (JSKB) has already taken the initiative. According to the officials, the production of silk sarees was started for the first time at the Chandil Training and Production Centre set up by JSKB, where extracting threads from the cocoons to designing and production of silk sarees are being done.

Though the production is limited at this point, it is likely to expand gradually to other centres Officials said that it will not only employ the local weavers but also provide a market for the sarees woven by them.

Notably, tasar cultivation, which actually had been a traditional practice among tribal communities for ages, is also being revived to improve livelihood opportunities for them. In terms of quality, silk sarees produced here are considered to be the best in class.

Apart from creating jobs, the JSKB is also encouraging the local handloom and handicrafts industry through women empowerment and distributed sewing machines among 329 women across the state under the Shilpi Rozgar Yojana.

“They were given six months of hands-on training regarding the use of sewing machines. During the training period, these women were given a stipend of Rs 150 per day. In addition, beneficiaries were also provided raw materials for making lacquer bangles, dokra art items along with equipment for making paper bags,” said JSKB CEO RK Besra. Women empowerment is one of the focus areas of this government, he added.

The CEO further added that, through the promotion of handicraft products and distribution of sewing machines, the government envisions creating a self-sustainable system for the women of the state. For the first time in Chandil, the Board has started production of sarees, he said.

He also said that the state government aims to expand the project at other locations in the as well.