Place: Semmandapatty District: Salem State: Tamil Nadu
The weavers of silk delicately weave the silk threads and present to the world a colourful ethnic distinction for India called “Sari”. While we appreciate and praise the varied designs and patterns, enriched with colours which enhance the beauty of women, it is time to look into the hardships which they undergo to present this marvel to us.
The villagers of Semmandapatty in Salem district of Tamil Nadu would astonish you with their skills of entrepreneurship and weaving. Every house in this village inevitably hosts a traditional weaver and the streets are colourful with silk threads hanging between two poles held for drying. It is here where 110 small weavers/ daily wagers have come together to share their hardships of limiting their talent to daily wages due to non-availability of credit and lack of proper marketing channel. The way out of such problems was forming a producer collective with the help of Kadayampatty Vattara Pengal Munnetra Nala Sangam (KVPMNS), an NGO which promotes producer collectives. The silk weavers named the collective as “Semmandapatty silk weavers association”.
To start with, they have raised a share capital of `4.80 lakhs and started inculcating a habit of savings by saving `100 per month per member. Requirements from members for credit to buy handlooms to end their daily wage work or to upgrade to power looms made the association approach financial institutions including NABFINS for a loan.
NABFINS analysed the problems of members and decided to lend to the association under its Second Level Institution vertical which aims at promoting producers’ collectives, farmers’ associations, SHG federations etc. In response to the requirement of credit for its 42 members, NABFINS released a loan of `48 lakh.
How it benefited:
Today the association with its timely repayments, credits NABFINS for enabling 22 of its members to come out of daily wage work and start their own weaving by purchase of handloom machines, 14 members have increased their production three times by upgrading to power loom and 6 members produce their own warps by purchasing warping machines.