Preserving heritage: Traditional art of 'Calico printing' finds new life in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir
Self-help groups in Samba preserve and promote the art of printing on clothes with support from the Rural Employment Livelihood Mission and the UMEED program.
Special steps are being taken at the government level to revive and develop the traditional 'Calico printing' of the Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, which dates back more than a century to the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Self-Help Groups (SHG) of the Rural Employment Livelihood Mission and the work under the UMEED program of the Department of Handicrafts have played a major role in preserving, reviving and promoting the art of printing in Samba. It is what is done on clothes.
Samba is famous for 'Calico printing' and is also known as the 'City of Sheets'. It is known for its textile industry. 'Calico printing' is widely popular due to its decorative and artistic expression of colours. Shows richness and shine. Five SHGs are working in Samba to preserve the traditional art technique with a total strength of 50. To revive the art, self-help group girls incorporate calico printing on jute bags with various designs. Due to this jute bags have become more decorative and attractive.
Umeed Scheme J-K RLM aims to reduce poverty among disadvantaged women to make them self-reliant which has resulted in the number of functional Self Help Groups (SHG) increasing to 70594 and active SHG members in Union Territories.
Recently District Development Commissioner Samba Abhishek Sharma has started a competition called 'Create Block Print Patterns' to revive the designs used in calico printing. This competition is available on the web portal jk.mygov.in where one can participate in the competition by clicking on the given link. DC said he has a lot of love for art, so he wants to develop ancient traditional art in the district.
He urged all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially students and artists, to participate in the competition to gain knowledge about the unique cultural heritage and local flora and fauna that show rich diversity, especially in the district of Samba.
The main objective of holding this competition is that local artisans practising calico printing can have a vocabulary of prints that have historical and cultural significance and are in high demand in the market. The designs obtained from this competition will be used by the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms, Jammu for the manufacture of wooden blocks used in block printing.