Thirty five years old Biman kalita, a potter from Salmara in Majuli earned his livelihood by selling pottery items in the seasonal market. The handmade earthen pottery items were made in the winter months using traditional knowledge and technique. These were later transported by boats to Dhubri and Sonitpur district markets. The sale fetched Biman merely INR 18000 in a year.
With ICCo’s aiming at protection and preservation of heritage products of Majuli through enterprise development and skill building in Assam, potters like Biman found a new hope in the otherwise diminishing vocation. Through the-ONGC partnership, potters in Majuli received skill up-gradation trainings that helped in enhancing their entrepreneurial skills, leading to improved socio-economic condition of the cluster households.
As a result of these trainings, Biman’s artefacts with use of pottery wheel as well as designing and colouring techniques now have an attractive finish, matching them to the customers taste. Owing to the skill building training, his production has doubled, enabling him to earn a higher income. Through the project, Biman also got an opportunity to showcase his products in an exhibition, which helped him get a fair idea about people’s preferences in pottery items.
With a common workspace through the facilitation centre, all the workers are now able to work under a common roof and exchange learnings with each other.