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Tuesday, Sep 07, 2004

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Chic chikankari


PASTEL HUES and delicate hand embroidery. That's what gives chikankari its timeless appeal. And reviving this unique tradition is the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), Lucknow, which is bringing its craftspersons to Chennai to organise an exhibition-cum-sale of chikankari products.

What is unique about SEWA events is that the craftswomen themselves participate and talk about their work and the cause. The exhibition opens today at Fabindia, Ilford House, Woods Road.

SEWA is a registered society working for the economic and social empowerment of its women artisan members. Among its many activities is the revival of the ancient art of chikankari. Today, 5,000 artisans and over 30,000 persons, especially women and children, are direct beneficiaries of the SEWA movement.

The society's goals for the Millennium are education for over 1,000 children of marginalised communities, promotion of legal rights, legal literacy, reproductive and child health rights, participation rights such as artisan welfare schemes, shelter improvement and formation of self-help groups, reducing poverty through income empowerment of artisans and micro finance for the urban poor. The exhibitions that SEWA organises is one method of helping the artisans for, every purchase made ultimately helps supplement the family income of the artisans.

The chikankari exhibition, which is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., concludes on September 11.

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