Nokia and the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) announced the launch of KanchiLoom, a cluster development program to digitally empower 500 weavers by connecting them to marketplace in 3 villages within Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
The ‘KanchiLoom’ initiative aims to develop the traditional skill-based weaver community in these 3 villages into an integrated digitally enabled cluster for socio-economic prosperity. It will enable weavers to embrace new technologies, designs, and scale-up traditional weaving methods by employing ICT tools and digital connectivity for marketing and sales.
At the heart of the program is the Cluster Resource Center (CRC) – an integrated digital resource centre – which will allow weavers to access advanced design software, combining the traditional designs with modern sensibilities to cater to new markets. An e-Commerce portal would be set up to open access to direct market, for these weavers reducing dependence upon middle-men, improving self-reliance and, eventually impacting livelihood positively.
CRC will also offer basic digital literacy, training in using advanced design software, wireless networking workshops and digital information services to the local population. CRC will serve as a cluster wireless network that will provide wireless broadband connectivity to schools, health centers and Anganwadi Kendra for overall development of the community.
Amit Marwah, Head, Customer Marketing and Communications for Nokia India said, “The KanchiLoom project is one such endeavor to assist the weavers and entrepreneurs in the cluster to hone their skills and to use digital knowledge and connectivity to realize their full potential.”
Osama Manzar, Founder-Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation, said, “We believe that KanchiLoom program will truly transform the lives of the weavers by providing them with training and access to the internet and wireless connectivity. The entrepreneurs in the region will further benefit from the e-commerce portal and specific entrepreneurship training provided as part of the initiative.”