Weavers' skills on display

Dastkar Exhibition

Colourful, handwoven saris hang from the walls of the Lady Jahangir Kothari Memorial Hall as part of the the bi-annual Dastkar Andhra exhibition which is being held in the City.

One can pick up handwoven cotton saris, yardage, dupattas and ‘kurtis’ at the exhibition. The rainbow-splashed exhibition showcases an Andhra weaver’s skill and talent. Dastkar Andhra was started by Uzaramma to help cotton weavers in Andhra Pradesh. It was initially linked to Dastkar Delhi but is no longer associated with them.

 The non-profit organisation helps weavers.  The reason they concentrate on cotton weavers is because, “Silk and other fabrics can be afforded by large sections of the society. It is a harder market for cotton,” said G Ravindran, the organiser of the event.

He said there is an increasing trend among the weavers to move to the cities in search of jobs because they aren’t getting enough wages in their profession. “We want to change that. We make sure they get their wages and don’t go under a loss,” said Ravindra. The clothes are priced according to the cost the weavers incur plus the transport and salary charge for the Dastkar workers. 

The organisation is still unable to accommodate more than 30 percent of the weavers in the State. “We need to make sure one person is not getting paid more than the other or else it will be unfair,” he said. 

People who visited once could not help but come back again. “I came in yesterday at the spur of the moment and couldn’t help but buy a lot. I wish they would come more often,” said Shatakshi, who was looking for more sari material. Kalavathi said she would come back to buy more and thought the material was nice, durable and price reasonable.

The exhibition is from 10.30 am to 8 pm and will end on June 26. Dastkar Andhra have created an online shopping space for those who miss their exhibitions: www.dacottonhandlooms.in 

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