This year, revelers in the Baliyatra trade fair can not only see the weaving techniques of the famous ‘Maniabandha Pata’ sarees but also place an order for a ‘Pata’ saree of their choice. For the first time, Maa Kalapata Producer Group (PG) of Abhimanpur under Badamaba block has set this new trend by installing a shuttle-pit loom made from ropes, wooden beams, and poles in the National level Pallishree Mela at Baliyatra ground.
Apart from selling different kinds of handwoven textile materials, live weaving exercise done by the women members of the producer group is being displayed at a dedicated demo stall featuring varieties of designs in cotton, silk, and ikat. The exclusive hand weaving demonstration by the weavers has been attracting visitors in droves at Baliyatra. A family enterprise, handloom production in Badamba block has been traced back to ages. Almost every household is engaged in this traditional craft which has led to the evolution of Maa Kalapata Producer Group.
Formed in the year 2007 with members from more than 50 households, Maa Kalapata Producer Group has brought revolution in handloom craft in Abhimanpur Gram Panchayat with the support of Odisha Livelihood Mission and Odisha Rural Development & Marketing Society (ORMAS) working under the aegis of State Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department.
The group has specialized in weaving ‘Khandua Pata’, a traditional Bandha or Ikat saree which is made by pit and frame looms which are widely acclaimed for their artistic design, color combination, and durability. Apart from Khandua Patas, the hand-woven Kumbha Butti Pata sarees, Foda Kumbha sarees, mercerized Deha Bandha sarees, Cotton Butti sarees, Dupatta, dress materials, Kantia Chadar are in great demand by the visitors in Baliyatra.
The cost of sarees and dress materials ranges from Rs.800 to Rs.7,000. “It requires a maximum of four days to weave a saree in the loom. Besides making an overall business of more than Rs.1 lakh during the last three days by selling many Pata, Silk and Cotton sarees, dress materials, bed sheets, etc, we have also received many orders from the visitors for weaving different varieties of pata sarees of their choice,” said Suryakanti Singh, Udyog Mitra (Livelihood Support Person) of the producer group.
With the initiative of ORMAS, the Producer Group has been able to establish a yarn bank. After procuring the furnished product from the weavers, the same is marketed in different outlets throughout the State. The producer group is also managing an exclusive outlet named “Annapurna” showcasing different Handloom materials in Cuttack. “The exposure to the urban market will help the weavers to get acquainted with taste and preferences of the urban customers.
The Producer Group has been tied up with “Rural Step” to provide a platform to these rural artisans for showcasing their products and facilitating them in online marketing of their products,” said Joint CEO,ORMAS, Bipin Rout.