Revival of ethnic button making generates employment for women in Varanasi

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Varanasi, June 7 : Revival of dying art of making ethnic buttons that once used to adorn the royal costumes, has helped to generate employment for women in Varanasi.

Upasana, a non-governmental organisation, launched a project named "Varanasi Weavers" for the upliftment of weavers in the Nevada village.

During the course of the project, it was noticed that not only clothes, but also buttons formed an integral part of weaving culture of the area.t was then that 'Upasana' extended this project and laid more importance on reviving the dying art encouraging women to take up the button project.

Varanasi buttons were an important part of Varanasi trims because of its extensive use in the costumes.

More than 130 women from Nevada village alone are involved in the artistic endeavour.

Womenfolk who were till now engaged as farm labourers have been acquainted with skills to make buttons that has provided them employment and augmented their family income.

"Diksha has taught us to make buttons and other embroidery work. When we learnt the art she gave us the material and told us to make the buttons. Since then we have been making buttons. I get Rs 15 for a pair. I can make three pairs a day," said Reeta.

The newfound source of employment has instilled self-confidence in the rural women and also improved their life style.

"My life has improved. It is better than before. First, we had no employment in the village. Now I have this," said Babita.

Ethnic button making art had almost died down, but with the efforts of 'Upasana' it has started coming back to limelight with European fashion markets showing keen interest.

Ethnic buttons are expected to reach international market by making its presence felt at a Paris fashion show to be held in October.

"The buttons will be displayed in the upcoming ethnic fashion show at Paris. The ethnicity is being given prime importance. Apart from India, we are also getting lot of demands from European countries. People come here and inquire about it as they find it suitable for their textiles. It was a very famous art that is on the verge of collapse now. It's very important to revive the art form," said Deepti, the project leader from Upasana.t is being envisaged that the ethnic fashion show in Paris will boost the demand for the ethnic buttons in western markets, which in turn will generate more employment avenues for the women folk.

The project has also instilled confidence among the organizers who are now planning to extend the project to different states of the country with help from women of Nevada village. y Brijesh Kr.Singh

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