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The most popular fashion technology institute in India NIFT is playing a leading role in helping the weavers’ community and artisans in its own impeccable way. NIFT Hyderabad in addition to offering technical expertise and suggestions for designs and product diversification has also helped Pedana Kalamkari (near Machilipatnam in Krishna district) and Budhiti brass and bell metal craft (Srikakulam district) in getting the GI tag.
On the directions of the Ministry of Textiles the NIFT has been helping the communities traditionally engaged in production of certain products in getting the GI tag since GI tag is the only way these communities can protect their identity and intellectual property rights. Over the past decade NIFT has helped 50 to 60 traditional crafts and designs get the GI tag.
Mr. G Hari Shankar Prasad, chairperson of the department of fashion management studies, NIFT Hyderabad explained,” As we are part of the Ministry of Textiles, we are entrusted with the duty of helping weavers and artisans communities in rural areas, which we do from time to time. Every year a group of students from NIFT will visit a community of either weavers or artisans. The students give suggestions and techniques that can enhance the quality of the product, make it a more saleable commodity and also suggest ways for product diversification.”
He further added,” NIFT Hyderabad had helped a total of nine such communities, three each in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. In Andhra Pradesh, we had helped in Pedana Kalamkari (block printing in textiles using natural dyes) in Krishna district, Budhiti brass and bell metal craft in Srikakulum district and in Telengana it was Nirmal painting.”
According to him NIFT Hyderabad would continue the identification of such communities and help them in whatever way possible.