Mobile company Nokia recently announced the launch of a cluster development programme that will digitally empower the weaver community and connect them to technology and marketplaces in the villages of Tamil Nadu. It was decided that the programme will be named 'KanchiLoom', and Nokia is joining hands with a Delhi-based non-profit organisation, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), to roll out this initiative.
The programme will help train and provide internet access and wireless connectivity to 5,000 community members, including 500 weavers of three villages in Kanchipuram. This project will enable weavers to embrace new technologies and designs and attempt to amplify the traditional weaving methods by employing information and communications technology tools and digital connectivity for marketing and sales.
According to a report by The News Minute, Amit Marwah, Head of Customer Marketing and Communications for Nokia India, stated,
"We strongly believe that digital inclusion is an important pillar for socio-economic growth. Our collaboration and support for social development programmes focus on the use of technology to enable equal access to opportunities in education and training for all sections of society."
The deputy directorate general of handlooms, Kanchipuram district, in an interview with Financial Express said that there are 75 societies with 35,700 weavers involved in weaving both silk and cotton sarees valued at Rs 6.5 crore a month.
As per an Economic Times report, for this plan, an e-commerce portal is also going to be put up to promote greater self-reliance among weavers through direct market access. Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, DEF, said,
"We believe that the KanchiLoom programme will truly transform the lives of the weavers by providing them with training and access to the internet and wireless connectivity."