Stitching & Knitting Center
Mrida has established a stitching centre in Mayapur, near Village Eldana, in response to feedback from Village Pradhans and THDC. The centre has been well received, with 32 students enrolled and 26 students were successfully completed the basic sewing course. 29 individuals have enrolled for the second batch of training, but the course has yet to begin.
While no dipstick study was conducted to ascertain the feasibility of the stitching and knitting centre, participation is voluntary on Pradhan's recommendation, and the emphasis is on skill development for the women's group. Team Mrida will make every effort to promote the Stitching and Knitting Training Centre in the villages impacted by the project. The program's objective was to skill the PAFs women and girls, and for those who want to become an entrepreneur, Mrida, in collaboration with THDCIL social department officials, will provide additional support in advanced certification training and the establishment of boutique businesses.
To mitigate the risk of committing to a large intervention, the activities are being planned in phases, with a small initial investment in basic infrastructure followed by the operation of a full-fledged centre based on initial response. Based on the overwhelming response to the stitching and knitting centre in Mayapur, two additional sewing centers will open in Urgam and Saloor Catchment, for which infrastructure has been identified and finalized, and machine deployment and operation will begin in October 2022.
The stitching and knitting centre has established itself as a visible and effective intervention capable of affecting a large number of people. After completing their tailoring and knitting training, young entrepreneurs can quickly and easily launch their own businesses in their local market or at home, with little investment, manpower, or machinery. Demand for custom-tailored clothing, handbags, and other home décor items continues to grow.
Woollen goods such as sweaters, caps, mufflers, and gloves are extremely popular in hilly areas and are available almost all year. This means that, like tailoring shops, a knitting business can be established to generate revenue while also providing a service. The tailoring programme is currently underway, and depending on the PAFs' interest, additional knitting programmes may be initiated in the same centre.
To train the PAFs, the team has identified a stitching trainer who is proficient in the art of stitching through a series of training sessions and on-the-job experience in a ladies' boutique.
Except for Naurakh and Gulabkoti, Mayapur is an ideal location for Phase-I village Project Affected Families (PAFs). The stitching and knitting units will function as training facilities, supervised directly by THDC and Mrida personnel. Local branding and marketing will be used to promote the Stitching and Knitting Unit.
After the initial round of training is completed, there will be opportunities to operate this centre profitably. Further plans for the operation of this centre can be developed in response to the villagers' initial response, and thus the sustainability aspect can be addressed.
A nominal monthly fee of Rs. 50 is charged to ensure that the training is not provided for free, and people take this seriously. Stitching training is conducted in batches of ten or eleven participants. Three batches are currently operating. The number of batches can be increased after receiving feedback from the villagers.