Kochi: The People’s Company, a start-up based in Startup Village, Kochi, will take up a project for reviving Kerala’s handloom sector where more than 50,000 traditional weavers are struggling to survive.
Raqib Rasheed, Ashik Salim, Syamkrishnan P A, Anto D Akkara, Shehaz V B and Muhammad Junaid are the youngsters who floated their start-up even before passing out of the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram this year. They have now won a contract from the Kerala Government to support the ailing handloom sector as part of the first phase of gradually reviving sick public sector units.
Under the two-year contract, effective from July this year, The People’s Company will integrate all weavers’ societies into a single production system and create linkage between new generation fashion designers passing out of national institutes, and traditional weavers, with the larger goal of breathing fresh life into the industry.
“In May, towards the end of our course, we approached V Somasundaran, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries & Commerce) with our blueprint for the revival of sick PSUs. Impressed by our proposal, the Government gave us the contract with the target of helping revitalize the handloom industry, keeping the weaver community as the major beneficiary,” said Raqib.
According to the plan, all products will be commissioned as per approved designs and market viability. Besides redoing and renovating the showrooms, the programme will also try to expand the market for handloom products. A key element of the project is to create a platform to connect the existing infrastructure and industry with the vast number of new generation fashion designing and arts graduates who are also looking for jobs.
“It is wonderful to see energetic and proactive youngsters come forward to revive the handloom industry – a move which will be of great benefit to marginalised weavers of Kerala. Connecting traditional handloom weavers and young fashion graduates is a great concept”, observed P H Kurien, Principal Secretary (Industries).
“These youngsters could have had dream jobs in MNCs through campus placements, but they chose to attach themselves to a social cause. It signals a new revolution piloted by our enterprising youths,” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village Board of Governors.
Kerala IT News