The communities residing in the region of Dakhin Kamrup were found to be engaged in thetraditional practice of sericulture. Eri silk is a rare commodity that is available in abundance in
this part of the world. The tropical climate and the indigenous knowledge that the communitymposses have been successful in keeping this practice alive. However, there always exists two
sides to every story. In this case, the eri rearers often fail to acquire the appropriate wages for the labour that goes into rearing the silkworms, spinning the cocoons into yarn, and then weaving beautiful garments. The lack of incentive for the work they do has forced them into giving up this age-old tradition of rearing and weaving. It is here that Diya Foundations’ comes in
to play a crucial role. The organization’s intervention attempt in keeping this practice alive and allowing the female weavers an opportunity for independence and income enhancement has resulted in the creation of the Farmer Producer Company called Mappakai, and people like Kavita Nath of the rural area becomes a stakeholder in this company who, then, will have a collective ownership over the eri-spinning machine. Kavita baideo is a beneficiary of Diya Foundation’s Solar powered Eri Spinning Machine. The solution is a part of Diya’s Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) intervention. Sustainable income enhancement and reduced labor costs are the intervention’s primary focus. Kavita Baideo was initially spinning eri manually which took her around 4 to 5 hours a day. Baideo used to double time due to household chores during the day, and then eri spinning at
night. The previous practice of manual spinning was without a doubt hectic and time-consuming. However, with the DRE eri spinning machine, the time spent was reduced significantly, thereby
allowing for the scope to invest time in other activities. The solution made it possible for her to jump from 300 grams of yarn per week to 900 grams, which is an increment of 3 times.
The machine is used by 4 other women along with Kavita Baideo and they collectively own it. This made their work more productive with less amount of investment, in addition to being more
efficient. The necessary skills required to operate the machine were provided to the beneficiaries through training and capacity-building programs. The cocoons are supplied by Diya Foundation and also the market for the finished product, which makes it easier for the spinners to sell the yarn for a price that is correct for the labor that goes into the process. Since all the raw materials are provided by Diya the Cost of production reduces significantly. The intervention has not only assisted in the income enhancement of the beneficiaries but has also helped in keeping an age-old tradition alive, wherein, the next objective remains to increase the number of shareholders in the FPC and to make it self-sustainable in the longer run.