Hapania Jute Cluster, Tripura
Hapania jute cluster of West Tripura district is located in Dukli Tehsil and is at a distance of 6kms from Agartala. Today there are about five hundred (500) families who are earning their livelihood by selling various jute based handicraft products.
In the Hapania Jute Cluster, the activities revolved around initiatives table up by Tripura Jute Mill Play Centre (TJMPC). TJMPC is an off – shoot of Tripura Jute Mills which was basically activities taken up by the workers of the Mill and their families. It operates from the premises of Tripura Jute Mills and is registered as a Society under Societies Act 1860 as an NGO. It gradually took up income generating activities to create additional income for the relatives of the workers.
TJMPC which has been operating from the premises of Tripura Jute Mill has 30 nos. of handlooms, 5 nos. of heavy duty 310 stitching machines and 25 nos. of ordinary machines. It also has equipments for dyeing. When the Cluster was first adopted, although the primary income of the artisans was from jute but the average monthly income was around Rs. 1200/- per month for the 222 artisans. The highest income for 10% of the artisans was Rs. 4500/- per month & the lowest was Rs. 700/- per month. As far as the investment at the artisan level is concerned, the average investment was very low as most of the artisans used to work in their own houses with simple hand tools and equipments and whenever there was a need for using other machinery and equipment, they would go to the Play Centre to use the machines. Initially there were around 225 artisans in the cluster and only 32 had bank accounts and out of which only one artisan had availed bank loan of Rs 15000.
But, after the post intervention of IIE, it is seen that 25 SHGs are actively associated with the TJMPC out of which 40% have received bank loan and the rest have opened their bank accounts and are regularly saving. 84% of the artisans have received skill development training and have been provided with artisan card and health cards. Overall along with product diversification and market linkage there has been 30% increase in income of the artisans. Currently the cluster is producing jute base product like Floor Carpet, Wall Hanger, Room decorative items, purse and Bags, File cover/Folder, shoes, Tea bags, Cushion Cover etc.