NEDFi took the initiative to popularize the use of Water Hyacinth for making eco-friendly handicraft products mainly for the following reasons :-
- Availability of raw material at free of cost
- It can replace jute, cane and bamboo
- Artisans experienced with braiding and weaving work can easily pick up the trade once provided the training
The Project has been successful in :-
- Creating Sustainable Livelihood
- Promoting Eco-Friendly Products
- Empowering Women in Rural Areas
- Rejuvenating Environment by Removal of a Menace
Thus a weed which was considered to be a nuisance in plains of NER is now effectively utilised to make eco friendly products which in turn earns livelihood to the rural women promoting inclusive growth.
The 3 year project, from FY 2010-11 to FY 2012-13, is a Joint Initiative of NEDFi and North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of DoNER, Govt. of India to popularise the craft in the region. It involves capacity building and market linkage of the craftsmen associated under the project. The continual improvement in technology and design has helped the products to gain popularity among the consumers.
The design intervention by the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad has helped in improving the process and increasing productivity. The contemporary designs introduced by NID have helped the products to earn better value.
The Workshop on Thai technology conducted in the Month of March,2012 helped the project to take a leap forward . The craftsmen of NER worked with 4 Thai Experts for a month to learn the techniques and designs which are prevalent in Thailand, a country where the craft has been in practice for more than 40 years.
The product has been popularised among the consumers through participation of the craftsmen in different exhibitions and its display in the showroom at the Water Hyacinth Craft Gallery-cum- demonstration Centre at NEDFi Haat, Ambari, Guwahati.
The project now facilitates a Common Facility Centre at Khetri, a Demonstration Centre cum Craft Gallery at NEDFi Haat , Ambari Guwahati and many sales outlet across NER which are set up by the rural artisans.
• Aqua Weaves
• Water Hyacinth NEDFi-NEC Joint Initiative