The age-old practice among the Karbi tribe weavers to use natural dye in their fabric was the highlight when a large group of Karbi women celebrated the last International Women’s Day to celebrate their tribal life and hues at Kohora River Basin near Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
Eighty Karbi women from seven villages in Kohora, Karbi Anglong, namely- Chandrasing Rongpi, Rongtara, Bakring Engti, Phumen Engti, Hemai Lekthe, Englepathar and Diring – participated in the celebration organised at Chandrasing Rongpi village of Kohora River Basin under the aegis of Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org), the premier research-based biodiversity conservation organisation from the region. Youth of the area too joined the womenfolk to celebrate the occasion in CRMH.
The highlight of the celebration was a ‘contest on natural dyeing process organised by women from five villages- Rongtara, Phumen Engti, Hemailekthe, Chandrasing Rongpi and Diring- that enthused the spirit of the participants. In addition to judging the contest, chief guest Sashikala Hansepi encouraged the women involved in it.
A group interactive session on topic “Marriageable age for Women Should be raised to 21 from 18 as is currently” marked the occasion. All of the women participated in the interaction. Sashikala Hansepi interacted with the women on this important topic.
Sashikala Hansepi is an entrepreneur who started her entrepreneurial ventures in 1985. She has preserved traditional motifs and age-old skills related to handloom, handicrafts and musical instruments of the Karbis. Around 80 families have directly benefited from her handloom and traditional skill development initiatives, which is a great example of women empowerment.
A tailoring contest was also held along with the natural dyeing contest and prizes were distributed among winners. Two women in the community Kareng Rongpipi and Moina Kramsapi also shared their inspirational stories during the celebration. Varieties of fun-filled traditional games were organised to boost self-confidence among the women members.
Aaranyak is striving to support the indigenous communities living in the villages of the Kohora River Basin for sustainable livelihoods through its Community-based Natural Resource Management Programme currently supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Disney Conservation Fund.
Women members from Aaranyak- Deepika Chhetri, Joshna Terangpi, Bhargavee Rava and Leenthoi Laishram along with Young volunteers namely Larlyn’s Mixture, Dalimet Engtipi, Nojumi Terangpi, Stelia Mirtaly Tokbipi and Rashmi Tokipi actively participated and provided their helping hands for making the event a successful one. While Aaranyak’s Dr Jayanta Kumar Roy, Sarlongjohn Teron, Rowel Engti, Rangsina Phangcho, Bhaskor Barukial and Prakash Engti were also present and provided their support in the event.