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‘Godhadi Quilt’ maker women of Goa are still bright as button

The humble traditional quilt “godhadi” has become an assured source of livelihood for women particularly in some remote villages of Goa and Latur district of Maharashtra.

Godhadis are native to Goa and the neighbouring state of Maharashtra and come in a myriad of variations – the women consider them as true home accessories.

Godhadi, the main product of the self-help group, is hand sewn by women by layering colourful cloth scraps to make beautiful patterns.

The project Ruma came into being on March 8, 2017 on an investment of Rs.50,000  with an aim to provide women of Ansarwada steady wages and keep the traditional handicrafts alive, said president Rukmini Pastalge.The project was started under the guidance of one Madhuvanti Mohan who was working with a few NGOs in the district, she said.

What began as a small enterprise has since grown to employ 35 women in the age group of 18 to 60 years (some of them speech and hearing impaired) from Ansarwada and surrounding hamlets in Nilanga tehsil.

The women who are part of the collective have been keeping the dying art of quilting alive with their new and innovative designs, an official from UMED Rural Livelihood Mission said.

Apart from colourful godhadis, the women also make cloth toys, bags, tapestries and rugs.The pattern is normally stitched with ordinary white cotton  but you may choose any colour that seems right to you.

The collective procures raw materials (cloth scraps) from different parts of the country or receives discarded scraps in the form of donations from factories.

The quilts have received a good response from online sales as well, but most of the products are sold by word of mouth or during exhibitions, Pastalge said.

At least 15 small and major exhibitions were organised in the last four years and Ruma’s ‘godhadi’ even went on to win an award in one of them, the official said.

“We are making efforts to sell our godadhis abroad. We want to make our products on par with handicrafts from West Bengal, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir,”she said.

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