ICTs for sustainable “Chikankari” embroidery weavers livelihoods

Lucknow and the Avadh Region of India’s largest and poorest state Uttar Pradesh (UP) also happens to be the world’s largest cluster of women artisans. The women artisans numbering over 750,000 are engaged in a traditional hand-embroidery “chikankari” made from cotton colored threads apart from gold and silver threads commands a very high price yet the middle men take away most of the profits.

The women however have no control over the designs they make nor over the marketing process. Most weavers have not even seen a retail outlet what to talk of interacting with an end customer. Consequently many designs are obsolete and non-competitive. The artisans lead a hazardous life. The health indicators are very poor. Most artisans suffer from serious mal-nourishment and anemia; apart from eye sight disorders.

Keeping these factors in mind; Datamation Foundation designed a multi-pronged strategy to enable the “chikankari” weavers with support from the World Bank. The project implementation commenced a year ago.

ICTs modernize designs in ready-to wear apparels, home furnishings and accessories
Designs made from CorelDraw, CorelDrawings and PhotoShop are printed on the fabrics.