Tiruppur, India’s knitwear city is all set to emerge as the fashion capital in gents’ wear. A mega programme has been launched by Tiruppur Exporters’ Association (the collective of all knitwear manufacturers in the district) in collaboration with the Union Government to train and professionalise youngsters hitherto working as labourers in knitwear units.

“Till now, they were just workers. Our mission is to elevate them as designers and master craftsmen who would be able to design fashionable wears of global standards,” Raja M Shanmugham, president, TEA, told The Pioneer.

He said lakhs of workers are employed in the knitwear units. “Many unemployed youths make a beeline to Tiruppur to get a job and they end up as working in the assembly line. They use their physical prowess but not their hearts. The programme SAMARTH (Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector) launched by the Ministry of Textiles intends to  train 16,000 workers over the next two years as full time designers, dress makers and craftsmen,” explained Shanmugham.

Tuesday evening saw 95 students passing out of the first batch of SAMARTH initiative, a 45-day residential programme with monthly stipend of Rs 14,000/- and refreshments. “We have two schemes to mould skilled workers. There is a programme to up-skill and re-skill existing workers while fresh workers are trained under SAMARTH for 300 hours,” said S Sakthivel, executive secretary, TEA.

He pointed out that the SAMARTH and up-skill programmes are meant to increase the competitiveness and enhancing the productivity of the workers. “The day is not far off when these trained and up-skilled staff would sit with our buyers and chalk out designs and fashion wears as per the need of the latter,” said Sakthivel.

Jyothi, an 18-year-old girl, who was selling millet soup in Chennaimalai is one of the candidates who underwent the programme under SAMARTH scheme. “I had completed Plus Two but could not pursue higher education because of financial issues. The training programme helped me to know more about designing of fashion wears and formal wears. Now, I can operate automatic machines and design any kind of T-shirts and banians,” said Jyothi. 

Raja Shanmugham said that casualwears from Tiruppur are establishing as a strong brand in markets in Europe and USA. “With these skilled staff the factories in Tiruppur would emerge as design studios and we will produce fashion and casual wears for the world,” said a beaming president.

Tiruppur could be India’s answer to Savile Row, according to Sakthivel who points out that skilled labourers are the biggest capital in this kind of industry.

Published On : 27-08-2021

Source : Daily Pioneer

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