In Assam, Bodo looms are now weaving success stories

June 30th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

By Maitreyee Boruah
Guwahati, June 30 (IANS) Till two years ago, 45-year-old Motori Brahma, a Bodo woman from Rowmari village in Assam, was doing menial jobs to feed her family of five, including her ailing husband. That’s history now. A weaver by profession, Brahma, along with a group of 130-odd tribal women weavers, is now earning a handsome sum of money. The products of the Bodo weavers of Chirang district have clients across Indian metros and as far away as the United States.

But it is the recently opened ‘The Ant’ boutique in Bangalore that the weavers feel will help make Bodo handloom and handicraft products commercially viable. The boutique has already started attracting connoisseurs for its unique collection of handloom and handicraft items from across India’s northeast.

Supporting the cause of these poor Bodo women of Chirang is The Action Northeast Trust (The Ant), a voluntary organisation based in Assam’s Bongaigaon district that makes best use of their weaving talent.

It was under its initiative that poor and debt-stricken Bodo women, having great weaving skills, formed a weavers administered trust - Aagor Daagra Afad in 2002. Today they are selling their products under the brand name Aagor, which in the Bodo language means design.

“The motive behind setting up the boutique in Bangalore is to make the handloom products of Bodo women commercially viable. Till now, we have been supplying the products to various brand names across India and the US. But the boutique is an independent attempt by the bodo weavers,” Sunil Kaul, founder member of The Ant, told IANS.

“The boutique is the result of five years of our work and planning. We’re also planning to open up similar boutiques across India,” Kaul added.

Along with selling Aagor’s cotton and trendy silk fabrics, the Bangalore store is also pulling crowds for pottery items from Manipur and bamboo and cane products from Mizoram and Tripura. The boutique also has a caf

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