The Crafts Council of India’s relationship with Pattamadai is a long and enduring one.
CCI in the early 90s had encouraged this cluster to submit well woven mats for the National Awards selections. Ibrahim Beevi was the first to receive this prestigious award in 1993. This was the ‘awakening’ of the public to the wonders of this craft. This was followed by the Geographic Indicator registration and the Pattamadai mat weavers have become well known not only in Tamil Nadu but in other parts of India as well.
CCI has continued to work with them ever since with design and quality inputs and marketing assistance. Many of them are regular suppliers to CCI’s craft shop ‘Kamala’ in Delhi and Chennai.
Besides working with the women, for over ten years CCI has been running the ‘Educate to Sustain’ programme for artisans children at Pathamadai. The program aims to ensure a value-added education for the children. Apart from the modest stipend they are paid for completing their schooling, weekend classes are held in their family craft to ensure they retain their traditional skill.
The products developed by the children are displayed at our craft bazaars.
In November last year, CCI had conducted a week-long dye workshop to introduce a new color palette.
This year, despite the pandemic, we managed to have a skill-building workshop at Pattamadai.
The Government of Tamilnadu and The Crafts Council of India joined forces to impart training to the Women Mat Weavers of Pattamadai at Tirunelveli. The 100 hours skilling programme designed by the Tamilnadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC) under SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Programme) funded by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and World Bank, implemented by The Crafts Council of India involved training in financial literacy, digital literacy, design interventions, and tailoring. The training was given to a group of forty women from the Lebbai community who are already familiar with pattamadai mat weaving.
This film captures the essence of the workshop and showcases the products developed.
For more details on the Pattamadai project please write to The Crafts Council of India at: [email protected]
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