In the of context of silk weaving in Assam , Sualkuchi is a name that stands apart. Situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra, about 35 kms from Guwahati, Sualkuchi is a block of Kamrup District with a population around 52,679,with 90 sq km . There are 8 G.P. in Sualkuchi block out of which, weaving is a dominant occupation. In fact Sualkuchi is known as the MANCHESTAR of the East.
The weaving tradition in this hamlet can be traced to the 11th century when king Dharma Pal, of the Pala dynasty, sponsored the craft and brought 26 weaving families from Tantikuchi to Saulkuchi. The village took shape as a weaving village when the SHAMS occupied Sualkuchi defeating the Mughals in the mid 17th century.
'Project Sualkuchi'- A dream of the people, by the people, for the people.
The North Eastern Council, in exercise of the financial powers authorized by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, accorded administrative approved as well as sanction on 8th May 1987 towards implementation of the Scheme IPP for the weavers of Sualkuchi and Adjoining areas under the pattern of self help group of Kamrup District of Assam. The Scheme is being implemented by Deputy Commissioner Kamrup and Project Director, DRDA, Kamrup District Assam.
National Institute of fashion Technology(NIFT) and Project Sualkuchi
This premier institute of design management and technology was set up in 1986,under the aegis of Ministry of Textiles to impart Fashion education and cater to the human resources development needs in India, to train professionals to meet the varied manpower requirement of the apparel section, but also a solid foundation to which the country could profitably transform to meet the international challenges.
The Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup Assam, vide Letter no. KCA/Project Salkuchi/Nift/2004/1 dated 19th March 2004,sought the participation of Nift in the above Project for the development of managerial capacity and upgrading the technical skill of the weavers of self-help group. Accordingly, in context to the IPP, Nift is committed towards the development of entire Sualkuchi handloom cluster in terms of various technological and skill up gradation, establishment of R and D centres for handloom, setting up of various common facility centres, product innovation, design diversification and conversion of handloom materials into fashionable garments, setting up of yarn bank and CAD Centre, and conduction of various training and exposure programmes for the weaving artist of Sualkuchi region.
The estimated cost of this project is 695.50 crores. The underlying points highlights briefly the progress of the scheme.
1. A total of 100 self help groups have been formed and they have been provided a revolving fund of Rs. 10,000/- each.
2. Each self Help group have been provided with Rs. 2 lakhs as subsidy and Rs. 2 lakhs as bank loan.
3. 300 weavers were given training on updated looming methods, new disigne and other related waving aspects at NIIFT, Kolkatta.
4. The construction work of common facility centre at Sualkuch is going on.
5. The approximate estimated budget of this task is Rs. 60 lakhs.
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