Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Herald review on Paalaguttapalle Bags


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The inspirational tale of the women of Paalaguttapalle

28 FEB 201803:16AM IST
Report by 

 The recently concluded Bengal Goa Mela witnessed some interesting stalls and workshops of handicraft items and a stall run by women from a village in Telangana stood out for its beautiful craft and inspirational story

As Banglanatak dot com and Ravindra Bhavan
Margao hosted the third edition of the Bengal Goa Mela earlier this month, the state’s commercial capital and the people of Salcete truly had a good time listening to traditional Bengali folk music in the evenings while the students picked up handicraft ideas from local Bengali and Goan artisans and learnt the art at workshops held in the mornings. But the real treat were the multiple stalls selling Goan handicrafts and Bengali fabrics, bags, accessories, linen, furniture and lamp shades.
One such amazing stall comprised the women of Telangana and their savai grass jute bags. The women have been working hard, with complete commitment to quality and neatness.
When one of the women at the stall learnt that the quality of their products are being uniformly appreciated, she said, “That is what we need. Money is secondary.” And it is that appreciation that they received from each of the customers that filled them with satisfaction.
Understanding the expenses involved and the need for a revolving fund, they keep part of the earned profit aside for this purpose. When an order comes, they make sure that everyone gets a fair and equal share. They have taken complete charge of the work, from collecting the cloth from the neighbouring transport office, to handing the costing and the stitching, to the picking and parcelling from the post office.
In fact, the entire manufacturing process has required a lot of effort. They bought motors for their machines and worked on getting them fixed with the help of others in the village. They also took the time to travel to Chennai to learn screen printing on their own and then implemented it after spending time to master the art with a lot of practice in their own village.
That’s the story of the Paalaguttapalle women who were brought to the fair by Banglanatak dot com. Roopa, Annapurna, Buji and Lavanya travelled all the way from the village of Paalaguttapalle in Telangana. They make and sell multi-purpose, eco-friendly cloth bags with nice motifs.
“They loved the way Goans treated them. Paalaguttapalle has been hit by drought for several years. The women of Dalitwada turned to making bags as an alternative livelihood. We ourselves at Goa Foundation ordered 1,300 bags from them for the Organic World Congress. They delivered on time and the quality was extremely good. The bags seem durable and are certainly a better alternative to plastic junk that will only litter our villages and streets,” says Claude Alvares, Director, Goa Foundation.

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