Golden Grass Artisans of Kendrapara are equipped with skills for the future!

Bhubaneswar: The month of July has been an exciting one for the golden grass artisans of Kendrapara. As part of the ongoing project- ‘Skill & Entrepreneurship Development of Women in Golden Grass Craft in Kendrapara, Odisha’ also known as The SANKALP Kendrapara Project, a series of workshops have been conducted for the artisans.

The workshops focused on lesser taught yet important skills such as sustainability, conscious production, brand feedback, consumer feedback, modern day banking, GST & taxation and basics of everyday financial management.

The workshops were conducted by Dr. Sutapa Pati, the Dean of School of Sustainability and Professor Abhimanyu Sahu, School of Commerce from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar for Conscious Production & Sustainability and Financial Understanding Workshops respectively. The brand feedback and interaction workshop was executed in 6 sessions with 6 different brands that deal with the retail of handmade products. The 6 brands were a mix of local and national brands- Ikai Asai, Crafts Council India, Ficci Flo, Vintage Vistara, Simply Crazies and DPR Artlife.

The next series of workshops to be held later in the year will focus on e-commerce & retail and social media & phone photography.

Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) was established under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, GoI(MSDE) in 2018 to drive the ‘Skill India’ agenda – to converge existing skill training initiatives and to combine scale and quality of skilling efforts.

The SANKALP Kendrapara project started in November’2020, is a pilot project under the national mandate and is being executed by MSDE, State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts(SIDAC), H.T & H dept., Govt. of Odisha, and District administration, Kendrapara, Odisha.

The project focuses on the execution of comprehensive interventions across the Golden Grass (natural fibre) cluster in Kendrapara district, Odisha. The impact numbers are 3000+ female artisans across 30+ villages.

The skilling and intervention areas of the project have been divided into- craft skilling, design & quality skilling, entrepreneurship skilling, soft skilling, marketing interventions, technology interventions, exposure & infrastructure.

The artisans have been receiving regular orders via their social media handle- swa.odisha and also through exhibitions and meets. The nuanced skills taught during the workshops aim at aiding the artisans to expand their market become self/swa-reliant!