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Udhampur Campus, JU organises one Day Women Empowerment Training Workshop on 'The Art of Kaleera Making'

UDHAMPUR: In order to revitalise the centuries-old traditions, sustain socioeconomic development, and connect with the community, first of its kind a one-day Women Empowerment Training Workshop on "The Art of Kaleera Making" was held at the Udhampur Campus of the University of Jammu.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Yash Pal Sharma, Rector, Udhampur Campus, University of Jammu, stated that the training programme was intended to help the women of the nearby area of Garnai Lotta to strengthen their vocational skills and find ways to generate income avenues.

It was an opportunity for the hard-working women to show off their aptitude for manufacturing kaleera in order to establish their value moving ahead and share equally in supporting their livelihood.

"The time has arrived to embrace new trends in the old traditions. Kaleera (plural ‘Kaleeras') is a beautifully handcrafted pretty combination of seashells, full and half dried coconuts, golden and silver embroidered accessories, roasted rice (phullian), pearls, dried flowers, etc and are worn by brides on their wedding". said Prof Sharma.

He thanked Prof. Umesh Rai, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu under whose visionary leadership such initiatives have been undertaken for the welfare of the society.

Organized under Udhampur Campus Community Facilitation Centre (UCCSC) for the welfare and upbringing of the society specifically rural women, Bimla Devi, a progressive entrepreneur and kaleera making artist of Garnai Lotta, Udhampur, was the trainer and the resource person who imparted training to the target group of about 20 young women of the area. Remarkably, five different varieties of big and little-sized kaleeras were produced on the spot by them.

It is pertinent to add here that Kaleeras are growing popular not only amongst Dogras and Punjabis but also in other communities are integrating them in their bridal dress and consequently, their demand is also increasing nowadays from high-end luxury brands to economical and pocket-friendly ones. In marriages, the brides' adoration of Kaleerason their arms represents wealth and luck for her so that she can successfully start her new path of life in the new family.

Not only in the villages, but also in the megacities, brides wear kaleeras. Bollywood actresses too follow this trend of wearing Kaleeras. In addition, devotees offer Kaleeras to the Deities at the temples, and smaller Kaleeras are frequently displayed as ornaments on moving vehicles.

Earlier, Dr. Shilpa Gupta, coordinator of the event, explained about the objective of organising the event and opined that the workshop will help us to understand how skill development enhances women empowerment.

She thanked the resource trainer Bimla for training the participants and hoped that several futuristic initiatives will be taken by the Udhampur campus to work in coordination with the rural folks for welfare activities.

Others who were present during the workshop were faculty members including Dr.Mamta Sharma, Taruna Dubey, Dr. Ritika Sambyal, Dr. Kamini Dutta, Nikhil Khajuria, Dr.Jyotishna, Dr. Jatinder Kour and non-teaching staff of the Udhampur campus.

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