Leprosy had taken its toll of Mr. Kuppusamy long before the days of Multi-drug Therapy. By the time he arrived at SLRS he needed more than medical treatment. A young bachelor, whose hands had become clawed, shapeless, insensitive to pain and injury, Kuppusamy could not support himself nor could he return to his village, as he would not have been accepted .He desperately needed to earn a living
It was for people like Kuppusamy that the Mat Weaving Rehabilitation project was started in 1957 by Dr. Fritschi, the then Superintendent of SLRS and Mrs. Manorama Fritschi. The patients were trained to make tapes for cots, stockinet bandages and tablemats. A weaving shed was put up in 1961 with the assistance of the Social Welfare Board. The weaving instructor, himself a cured patient, trained other patients. The unit later produced cotton textiles in addition to broom and sisal fibre mats. It has further diversified its product range to include block printed, screen- printed and tie and dye items. The block-printing unit was started in the year 1996.
In order to enable the patients to work close to their homes, sub-centers were started in Thiruvalam, WORTH Trust, Katpadi and in Arni. The wives of some of the patients also learnt weaving to augment the family income. Over 50 leprosy – cured workers were employed at these centers.
In 1982 the Rehabilitation Unit was given the Indian Merchants Chamber award for outstanding contribution in the field of employment of handicapped leprosy patients at the Chamber’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Mumbai.
The unit runs on a non-profit basis. Training and raw materials are provided and workers are helped to market the products. The weavers are paid on a piece rate basis. The products from this centre have found their way to many leading arts and craft centres of this country. The unit celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1997.
Cured leprosy weavers and people with other disabilities now enjoy the personal satisfaction that comes from being productively employed. Hundreds of leprosy affected and other disabled, socially deprived persons have benefited through the Rehabilitation Unit since it was set up 53 years ago. Their standard of living has improved greatly and their children have a future to look forward to. The Rehabilitation unit has helped them live a life of dignity – the right of every man and woman.
The pottery for which Karigiri village is famous was introduced during the time of the Nawabs of Arcot, almost two centuries ago. Among the potters in the Nawab’s household was a Hindu potter by named “ Sanyasi Udayar”. Till recently, the six families said to be his descendents, produced the glazed pottery unique to Karigiri. At present only one person, a hearing impaired member of the Udaiyar family, working at Karigiri, knows the intricacies of this craft. SIH-R&LC has tried to revive this dying art by extending training to make this pottery and particularly the magic pot.
History of the Unit
The Mat weaving Rehabilitation Project was started in 1957 by Dr.Fritchi the then Superintendent of SLR&TC & Mrs.Mano fritchi to find employment opportunities for leprosy patients who had lost their jobs due to their disabilities and the stigma of the disease. From an initial hospital grant these patients made tapes for beds, stockinet bandages and tablemats with the broom grass that grew in abundance in the campus.
The Rehab unit is a part of the SIH-R&LC. The unit functions on the grounds of compassion, to help the former leprosy patients to earn, to support their nuclear family,until such a time, wherein they are able to earn and support themselves independent of the unit.
Head of the Department
Mrs. Rose Lewis
Weavers - 9
Block printers - 2
Tailors – 4
Packing, stitching,gauze piece folding etc.-. 10
FUNCTIONS OF THE UNIT
The Rehab.Unit functions in the following ways
1.Purchase of Raw Yarn
2.Warping process ( externally)
3.Issue to the weavers / Tailors
4.Receipt of finished goods
6.Sales at local counter/ out stations
8.Restricted loans to weavers
The block printing unit was started in the year 1996. One of our weavers sons was sent to Hubli for training. He in turn trained socially and economically deprived women from rural areas. This section turns out Block printed bed sheets, sarees, table cloths and cushion covers which are in great demand.
The pottery for which Karigiri village is famous was introduced during the time of the Nawabs of Arcot almost two centuries ago. . Among the potters in the Nawab’s household was a Hindu potter by named “ Sanyasi Udayar”. Till recently the six families said to be his descendents, produced the glazed pottery unique to Karigiri. At present only one person is alive who knows the intricacies of this craft. SIH-R&LC has tried to revive this dying art by training a hearing impaired worker, of the Udaiyar family,to make this pottery and particularly the magic pot.
The products from this centre have found their way to many leading arts and craft centres of this country. Regular customers in India are MESH New Delhi, cane and Bamboo & VTI Chennai., the unit also conducts sales in Schools and hospitals and sets up sales counters at conferences and workshops organized by CMC and the Charity Bazar sale at Bangalore every year. The unit runs on a non-profit basis. Training and raw materials are provided to workers they are also helped to market the products. They are paid on a piece rate basis
Available Products At Rehabilitation
CLOTH MAT ( SET OF 6+1)
FIBRE MAT ( SET OF 6+1)
BROOM STICK MAT( SET OF 6+1)
PRINTED MAT ( SET OF 6+!)
SERVIETTES 14”X14” (SET OF 6+1)
SWAB CLOTH (SIZE: 20”X22”)
TEA TOWEL (SIZE: 20X27”)
SHOULDER BAG ZIP
TABLE CLOTH 60”X60” BP SINGLE COLOUR
TABLE CLOTH 60”X60” BP DOUBLE COLOUR
TABLE CLOTH 60”X90” BP SINGLE COLOUR
TABLE CLOTH 60”X90” DOUBLE COLOUR
BED SPREAD 90”X100” SINGLE COLOUR
BED SPREAD 90”X100”BP DOUBLE COLOUR
TABLE CLOTH 40”X60” BP SINGLE COLOUR
TABLE CLOTH 40”X60” BP DOUBLE COLOUR
STOCKINET 3.5” ( ROLL OF 50 METS)
STOCKINET 4.5” ( ROLL OF 50 MET)
PETTI COAT FREE SIZE
PURSE BIG (CLOTH)
PURSE BIG (FIBRE)
TEA TOWEL PACKET (SET OF 3)
TABLE CLOTH SIZE 50”X90”
PILLOW COVER BP SINGLE COLOUR
PILLOW COVER BP DOUBLE COLOUR
CUSHION COVER BP SINGLE COLOUR
CUSHION COVER BP DOUBLE CLOLOUR
TEA TOWEL BP SINGLE COLOUR
TEA TOWEL BP DOUBLE COLOUR
CAT MEMO PAD
SHOPPING BAG BP