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'Vocal for Local': UPIDR helps local women weavers, artisans gain global exposure

UPIDR assists indigenous weavers and craftspeople in gaining international recognition

Vocal for Local: UPIDR helps local women weavers, artisans gain global exposure

The UPIDR has been assisting local women weavers and artisans in honing their craft and gaining global recognition, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Vocal for Local' slogan. The Uttar Pradesh Institute of Design and Research (UPIDR), which is part of the state's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises department, features a four-acre campus with contemporary classrooms and laboratories.

The prime minister was so impressed with the institute's work that he attended its 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' programme in Varanasi in 2020, when he spoke to about 10,000 artists and weavers.

"The praise we received from the prime minister was the turning point. Since then, we have been working with greater dedication," UPIDR chairperson Kshipra Shukla told.

She said the institute has held design workshops for craftsmen in 35 districts with the goal of strengthening 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' by empowering women.

UPIDR, which had previously only operated as an educational institution, was granted All India Council for Technical Education affiliation in 2019 and Board of Technical Education recognition in 2020, making it the state's first design institute.

Shukla claims that the institute has been working hard to raise awareness about technology upgrades, quality packaging, and testing, among other things.

"Whether it is the artisans engaged in wooden toys and stone carving of Varanasi or pottery of Gorakhpur, tarkashi of Mainpuri or the glass work of Firozabad, leather industry of Kanpur or wooden toys of Chitrakoot, all of them have benefitted from the training," she said.

According to Shukla, the products are being given a contemporary look under the leadership of renowned designers, exposing them to worldwide markets.

"Arti Rana, who lives in Lakhimpur Palia on the Indo-Nepal border, got Moonj embroideries reformed UPIDR designers. It is being marketed well," Shukla said.

Citing another example, the institute director said, "Wooden toys artisans of Varanasi used to make Ganesha and Kashi sawari... but with the guidance from UPIDR experts, they have now started making handbags. These handbags have gained appreciation from the prime minister."

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