SABAI GRASS ARTISANS, District – Jhargram, West Bengal, India
Articles,  Blog

SABAI GRASS ARTISANS, District – Jhargram, West Bengal, India

There are many elements to be afraid of in the forest any kind of incident can happen to a lone woman in the
forest Namaskar, My name is Poornima Murmu. I stay in Dhansol
village. I belong to the “Boma subcaste” Girls are married off by the time they are young. They do
not stay here. and a few that are not married, take tuitions for the
younger ones At what age do they get married? Usually by the time they are 14 or 15 years of age Collecting leaves means… we go into the forest We pluck individual leaves Then we make bundles of 1000 leaves to sell them in the
market How long does it take to make a bundle of 1000 leaves? one bundle of thousand leaves takes two days and how much do you sell them for? about 35 to 50 rupees (50 to 70 cents) so did you know how to make these products before? No. we have never made articles in such a manner we just made ropes. that’s all. so what is it that you have learnt now? By weaving the grass we just make one thing, roll of ropes
which we then sell but through this training we realized we could make several
products using a sabai grass The main aim of our project is to teach women new design
techniques. Presently we are training those who make ropes from sabai
grass. We are guiding them through to make attractive and market
oriented handmade products that they can sell easily. Thus making them make profits and double benefits from their
livelihoods. Besides product development we are trying to educate them
about financial literacy so that they are capable to avail government schemes and
grants. Its been a little over a month since we started this
training How do you like it? I like it, but my mother-in-law does not approve of me
coming here everyday so i have to avoid her everyday to come here and there is no one else to help me or my husband with all
other daily work The Santhali culture and aesthetics of their tradition is
our designs main inspiration. Santhals are mainly a self sustaining tribe. They collect wood, leaves from forest and with these natural products they make items of daily use
with their own hands They cook in earthen pots Make beds out of forest wood Make baskets out of bamboo and make mats out of palm leaves Keeping public demand and a contemporary design in mind we
create various types of bags, household items, jewellery etc. Along with creating local market linkages we are on the
lookout to spread this handicraft world wide. So that a wider custumer base is developed and a sustainable production model is created within the region What type of products do you think you can make now? There are many things we can make from rope now. But, we
will have to use some creativity to do it Its not that we can not do it. If we get a chance we will
surely do it properly We have the confidence that we can do it Our place of worship is different. Others usually worship
inside a man-made structure. We worship the SAL tree. Our devotion is to the trees

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