With e-commerce portals evincing keen interest to market their products, the women grass craft makers of a cluster of villages in Kendrapara district are elated at the prospect of augmenting their income.
General Manager of District Industries Centre, Santosh Mishra, said if the online marketing initiative of e-commerce companies materialises, it will definitely enhance the sale of grass craft products.
Besides empowering the rural craftswomen by helping them earn better, the online platforms will help them by providing them a larger reach for their creations, he said.
"Marketing of the product was a major hindrance that was encountered by us. All of us engaged in this craft are excited after online sale offers were received by us recently.
Several villages under Baro gram panchayat are known for the craft skills of their artisans, mostly women, who weave a wide variety of products with wild Golden Grass (Vetiver zizanoids), locally known as 'Kaincha Ghasa'.
With their nimble fingers, the craftswomen create products ranging from hats, baskets, hand-fans, tablemats, wall-hangings to flower-pots and mats, mobile stand, pen stand, dining mat, bed light, dust bin, cap, and ladies bags.
This craft provides self-employment to over 200 families in Baro, Trilochanpur and Tarando villages, an official said.
Homemaker S Mohapatra, who heads 'Budhi Jagulei Mahala Samity', a women's group, said members of women Self-Help Groups who became self reliant with a love for the grass craft, are now brimming with self-confidence after learning of the initiative of the e-commerce companies.
"For marketing, we used to travel extensively across the state by taking part in trade exhibitions. Our annual sale has hovered around Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakhs in recent years. We are quite optimist that the sale might make a quantum jump in the coming days, thanks to online marketing", she said.
"My spouse is a farmer. We were living on the fringes with limited income accrued from farming activities. But the golden grass crafts have transformed our lives," 49-year-old Mohapatra said with a tinge of pride.
"My daughter is a trained graduate. I got her married to an employed man. My elder son is pursuing B-Tech course while younger son is a graduate student. We have a pucca house and decent savings to meet exigencies. Al this could be possible after I tried my hand in grass craft weaving", she said.
Damyanti Parida (40) and Surama Baral (39), who became self-reliant through grass craft weaving, also echoed similar views.
"This traditional craft has come down from generation to generation but everything used to be done in an amateur manner. In recent years, government agencies have provided fiscal incentives to the artisans and opened the doors for exposure of the products", officials of the District Industries Centre said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)