Reported By : Nusrat Ali, Project Coordinator, Kashmir
Kashmir: IGSSS implemented “Kashmiri Carpets for Artisans’ Livelihood Enhancement and Empowerment Needs (K-CALEEN)’ programme focuses on improving the living and workplace conditions of the carpet weavers so that they can live and earn in a better way and make them aware about their rights, entitlements and services. Carpet weavers suffer from various problems related to their health, livelihood and the conditions in which they are forced to live and therefore the focus is on enhancing their livelihood and empowering them.
With majority of weavers above the age of 15 not attending school, the target villages consist of mostly poor and illiterate weavers. Poverty forces the community to involve their children in their home based carpet looms to produce the carpet before time and they are forced to stay away from school. These skilled carpet weavers who are involved in this craft from last 20- 30 years were not able to do basic calculations and even were not able to write their name.
Functional literacy Centers are running in 10 target villages under the project where adult weavers, mostly those who have never been to school are learning alpha-numeric skills. A total of 246 learners both male and female are learning in these centers. These learners are now able to do basic calculations and have shifted from doing thumb impression to signing in their own name. Among 246 learners, 125 got registration for Basic Literacy Assessment under Saakshar Bharat Mission (SBM), a programme run by central government for adult education through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
Nation-wide Literacy Assessment Test was conducted on 23rd August 2015, where 125 learners of Functional Literacy Centers running also participated. The learners who will qualify the test will be certified by National Institute of Open Schooling and they are hopeful that they will qualify for the certification.