Beautifully handcrafted Kauna products, made by local artisans of Manipur and other states of the Northeast region, are now available for sale on e-commerce platforms.
Livelihood Propulsion and Support Services (LPSS), incubated by Centre for Micro-finance and Livelihood (CML) – an initiative of Tata Trusts, has listed a number of products made by the artisans for online sale.
Kauna is a type of water reed extensively grown in the wetlands and marshland in Manipur and other Northeast states.
Various products like bags, baskets and purses etc., made by local Kauna artisans, are available on Amazon and habba.org, among others. The sale started a couple of weeks back and has already received orders worth Rs 30,000.
“The LPSS was incorporated to create a market linked eco-system by playing the role of a value enhancer as well as an accelerator in the areas of handloom, handicraft and other social enterprise. Currently it is building linkages, online and offline, for various hand loom, handicraft, agri-allied initiatives in Northeast India,” said Rajashree Das of CML Tata Trusts.
It has strong expertise in the areas of sales and marketing, brand development, backend skills, resource management and technology development. LPSS has generated a business worth of Rs 40 lakhs till date.
The Organization for Development of Economic and Self Help (ODESH) was established in 2001 and currently working with the artisans of Kauna handicraft where natural fibre of Kauna grass plantation is used.
Tata Trusts started funding ODESH in 2013-2014 for the design workshop which was aimed at product diversification.
“In 2016, Tata Trust agreed to fund ODESH in skill upgradation program for the next three years. The project was targeted at those families whose annual income is less than Rs 10000,” added Das.
The target clusters were identified by ODESH in Khanga-bok and surrounding villages. LPSS is also creating market linkages for handloom products from various Tata Trusts-supported clusters in Dhemaji and Chhaygaon block of Assam.
As the part of future avenues, LPSS is going to promote Kauna craft based entrepreneurship infrastructures at Thobul district in Manipur, a self-sustainable ecosystem to empower Kauna craft and craft based livelihood, where more than 350 Kauna artisans are going to be educated by industry experts in the areas of contemporary craft technology, latest designs and quality assurance.