Friday, 19 April, 2024

Dhimal women trained to make petani


By Our Correspondent
Jhapa, July 25: The new generation of Dhimal community is now being trained to make their ethnic traditional dress ‘petani’ after it is being pushed to oblivion. Kamala Dhimal, 30, of Setumari, Damak-10, Jhapa, had no skill to make petani.
“Not only myself but also many new generation women of the village did not know how to make petani. It had to import the required petani after the petani stopped being made domestically,” she said.
Lok Bahadur Dhimal, Chairman of the Dhimal Caste Development Centre, said that their original occupation was in crisis after the new generation stopped making petanis.
Like Kamala, Saraswoti Dhimal of the same place did not know how to make clothes, including petani.
Lately, this profession was in crisis as the new generation was interested in going to school and college to study and they were not interested in making petanis. Similarly, due to the influence of other castes in the Dhimal community, the new generation women have forgotten the original costumes of the Dhimal caste, said Chairman Dhimal.
In order to protect it, the Damak Municipality has started conducting training for the Dhimal community to make garments, including petani, by allocating the budget.
Ganesh Dhimal, a leader of the Dhimal community, expressed his sadness that the Dhimal caste, which was declared the first lot of citizens by the Damak Municipality, is losing its original culture.A situation was created to buy original dress worn by Dhimal women from outside.
Most of the Dhimal women were making their worn petanis. They used to make their ethnic clothing at home and wear it at various festivals like fairs and wedding celebrations. Clothing that reflects one's identity is now mandatory in all formal and informal events.
Mayor of Damak Municipality Romnath Oli informed that the municipality was conducting a training for Dhimal women to make petani with the objective of preserving the culture of the Dhimal community and linking it with income.
Dhimal women of Barhaghare, Setumari and Nalbari, which are densely populated with Dhimal in Ward No. 10 of Damak Municipality, have been trained to make the petani.
There is ample demand for petani in the market as most of the petanis are being imported from India due to lack of production. The municipality had allocated Rs. 200,000 in the last fiscal year to train 15 women in weaving.
According to Shanti Dhimal, coordinator of the Women and Enterprise Department of the First Citizen Dhimal Management Committee, there are 15 Dhimal settlements in Damak Municipality.
One person from each village has been selected and training has been conducted to make garments of Dhimal community, including the petani. In the previous fiscal year, 18 women had been trained.
She informed that it is like all other garments that can be identified only by its colour. Coordinator Shanti Dhimal said that the aim is to earn income as a woman who knows how to make petani can also make other garments. A petani is four-metre long and 52-cm wide. Its price ranges from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000 per petani.
The training conducted for three months can be used to sew daura suruwal, coat, shirt, handkerchief and other clothes worn by men.