Mumbai-based fashion brand IraSoeil has decided to outsource work to a company set up by tribal women in the Junnar taluka of Pune district. An MoU in this regard was signed during the Magnetic Maharashtra summit held earlier this year, and the actual work began in Pune on Saturday. This marked the first time that work at the ground level has started under an MoU signed during the summit for Pune district. This is also the second MoU, signed by the Tribal Development Department, to go into production.
The department had participated in the Magnetic Maharashtra summit for the first time this year. Various MoUs were signed between the department and industry bodies. Textile, education and skill development were some of the major areas for which MoUs were signed. The unit which began work in Junnar was also the result of one such MoU. Sanjita Prasad, a partner at IraSoeil, said this was the first time that they would be engaging with seamstresses outside Mumbai. “While the quality of the work can do with improvement, the spirit and willingness of the women to learn is commendable,” she said. The first batch of around 200 garments will be ready for delivery in the next fortnight or so, she added.
To begin with, 80 tribal women will be engaged in the project, and the set-up in Junnar can increase its capacity to accommodate 200. Machines have been issued to these women from the Tribal Development Department, and the women are trained in the garment manufacturing. In the initial phases, Prasad said, cut garments would be sent for final sewing, but later on, the fabric would be issued to them to cut and sew. “Of course they would require some sort of training, and we are ready to provide it to them,” she said.
Mainly dependent on agriculture, tribal families find it hard to get disposable income. Ayush Prasad, project director, Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), Ghodegaon, said the Industrial Revolution in India had begun with textile. “Similarly, we have chosen the labour-intensive garments sector to help create productive wage employment for tribal women, for an industrial revolution in their villages with their participation,” he said.
These enterprises, he said, would be able to develop their brand and create sustainable employment for the women. “We shall help them in their growth story. The entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm of these women will help in growing the enterprise,” he said.