Microsoft launches Azure-powered digital empowerment centers for Telangana weavers

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2018 16:09 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Feb 22 (ANI): Ronald Rose, Collector of Mahbubnagar inaugurated two digital empowerment centers for weavers in Narayanpet, set up by Microsoft India as part of its Citizenship initiative in their endeavor to revive traditional forms of India's textile heritage.

The digital empowerment centers aim to enable Telangana weavers to continue their ancient craft and earn a sustainable livelihood

These centers will train weavers in basic digital skills, communication and business correspondence skills to enable the weavers to effectively position their wares for business. The centers will also help weavers access and set up e-marketing platforms and other marketing channels. Microsoft will enable digital training through Project Sangam, a Microsoft Azure-based skill training platform.

In addition to digital training, Project Reweave will also help weavers with working capital support to revive defunct looms and start production of the famed Narayanpet weave. These weavers and artisans will be provided with market linkages to sell their products. They will also be trained in the use of natural dyes to enable them to make newer and sustainable hand-woven products.

"Digital technology is changing lives of Indians across every section of society. Working with global technology leaders like Microsoft has enabled us to bring technology to the doorsteps of our large weaver communities in the remotest districts of Telangana. The efforts by Microsoft to help revive the handloom sectors are laudable as it is preserving our country's heritage and creating sustainable livelihoods," said Minister for Textiles, K T Rama Rao.

"India is home to more than 470 traditional, skill-based, handloom clusters that offer the second largest employment opportunity in the country, after agriculture. However, these weaver communities are unable to sustain their livelihoods due to their unorganized nature, dispersed structure, lack of education and disassociation from modern technologies. These initiatives from companies like Microsoft go a long way in enabling communities to sustain themselves and provide livelihood to artisans," added Ronald Rose.

In the first phase, Project Reweave supported the Telangana and Andhra (Ikat, Gadwal, Gollabama, Mahadevpur, Narayanpet, Bobilli and Prondhur) weaver community of over 50 looms with infrastructure capital support, trained more than 350 weavers in Pochampally district in basic digital skills.

The project aims to reach the entire weaving community across the state over the next year.

"As part of our citizenship initiative in India, Microsoft is focused on reviving various handloom forms in India's textile heritage. The two new digital empowerment centers for the weavers and artisans is part of this endeavor, it ties into Microsoft's mission to empower every person and every organisation in the communities we work in, by using our Azure based technology solutions and expertise to democratise opportunities and bridge the digital divide," said Microsoft India (R&D) Managing Director, Anil Bhansali. (ANI)

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