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Thanks to revives the magic of tussar silk sarees!

 ‘Samaira’ was an enigmatic girl. She had an intriguing personality that somehow Nandni – the head of the department – of a leading fashion institute could not fathom.

No student of hers had garnered Nandni’s attention like this girl called Samaira. Every time Nandni delivered a lecture, she would find Samaira in the front row of her class with her head bent over a notepad. She would take down notes and copy all the dress designs that Nandni sketched on the blackboard. When Nandni used a power point presentation in her classroom, Samaira would quietly fire up her laptop and deftly transfer the designs and instructions using a highly advanced software. Embroidery was her passion and she had enrolled for this course to specialize in digital embroidery. An ace with numbers and figures, she excelled in crafting spellbinding designs that were not only pocket friendly but extremely comfortable to wear.

Nandni had a strong gut feeling that this girl Samaira was already an accomplished dress designer. She was a quick learner and had grasped all the nuances of the highly specialized software within a couple of days. Well, today was the day of reckoning. Nandni wondered what Samaira had in store for her today.

Each student had to discuss the project that she had studied during her internship today. Nandni as usual had given them all a free hand. Fashion was – after all – the creative freedom to express one’s personality wasn’t it?

All the power point presentations so far had surpassed her expectations. The girls had used all the technical skills that they had learned in her course to craft those designs. The cuts spelled oomph, the designs were unique, and the cost factor simply had to be ignored because the texture of the material and the skill of designing such clothes were highly labour intensive. Nandni knew all of this. She was impressed with the results that her girls had come up with so far.

The classroom quietened. It was Samaira’s turn and they knew Samaira would reveal her true colours today…….

‘A live presentation!’

Nandni started smiling.

A stunning bottle green saree adorned her graceful body.

Namaste………Samaira said softly confidently.

Samaira raised her hands which were decorated with a beautiful Mehendi design that was a brilliant coppery red.

Bangles, earrings, tribal jewellery and Kolhapuri chappals were immediately visible to the eye.

I did my internship on tussar silk sarees in a remote corner of Odisha with entrepreneurs who are working on a portal called

Samaira had braided her thick long hair and she moved around the stage holding the microphone in her hands.

I hail from a small tribal village of Odisha that specializes in making tussar silk sarees. A simple Google search will give you all the details of this regal fabric.

Suffice is to say that I grew up learning how to make tussar silk sarees and by the time I was 11 years old I could do a fair bit of embroidery on this rich soft fabric.

We loved our craft and used every spare minute to work on these gorgeous sarees. There were many takers for our products – for our labour – and for our skill. Our merchandise – if you could really call it that – was always in demand.

Yet, we were not too happy or very satisfied with the quality of our lives.  We mixed and matched colours, experimented with newer designs and even tried weaving in different materials into the rich tussar fabric that we crafted. We tried our best to analyse and understand the ever changing trends of fashion and adapted our designs and embroidery to match the requirements of the market.

It worked for a while. But we were not too successful.

Tussar was losing its sheen. Our orders were dwindling. Our future looked bleak.

Or so we thought until technology and brought about a quiet revolution in our lives. is my sponsor and thanks to their efforts I, Samaira, am able to stand here confidently amidst my peers with my head held high. introduced me and several other girls my age to the world of fashion. taught several Samairas like me to have faith in our skills and to continue to weave our magic with tussar silk sarees, pattachitra sarees, tribal jewellery etc. had long discussions with the women of several different tribes in our state.

Many of our most immediate and pressing problems were resolved when we found that our skills and our handiwork had a huge demand in the virtual world.

For the first time in our lives, we could name a price for our skills and magically even get it!

That first ray of hope was infused in our dismal lives by these entrepreneurs of

Samaira could simply be any girl living in a tribal village of Odisha.

Samaira could be any girl like me who always knew her mind and her heart.

Samaira could be any girl like me who loved working on exquisite tussar sarees or pattachitra sarees or applique work.

Samaira could be any girl who had a bunch of dreams just like all of you sitting here.

Unfortunately for us, we Samairas were born in a distant unknown tribal villages of Odisha.

Samairas like me could not communicate with élan.

Samairas like me were not too confident about their own skills and their own expertise.

Samairas like me had very limited access to schooling and almost no exposure to the outside world.

There were times when a Samaira like me questioned her fate, her destiny, her intelligence and her talent.

There were times when a Samaira like me wept with frustration.

There were times when it took a whole lot of courage and gumption to face just another routine day at the tussar silk farm that my family owned.

There were times when a Samaira like me dreamt of creating a revolution in the fashion world.

There were times, when a Samaira like me tossed aside her dreams as the meanderings of an uneducated and idle mind.

Perhaps an entity like God does exist.

Because thanks to ……..a Samaira like me stands tall and proud today amidst a group of fashion lovers.

My confidence, my faith in my ability as a skilled artisan, my talent, my superb diction, my classic, rustic, ethnic sense of design is at an all-time high today thanks to the efforts of

Yes, I did learn several nuances here that I intend to incorporate into the tussar silk sarees that we make.

The folks of my tribal village are eagerly waiting for me to return. and trained Samairas like me will work on newer patterns and designs and cuts and products to bring about a revolution in the virtual world.

If there is one thing that I gleaned from this entire course, it is this – fashion trends may come and go, they are bound to fluctuate like the ever changing British weather……traditions, culture, ethnicity, organic, eco-friendly, comfortable, durable clothes and accessories are bound to be in fashion for ever.

With all due respects to you dear Nandni ma’am………I still strongly feel that our ancient traditional cultural regional garments just need a tweak here and  snip there to create an impact in the world of fashion.

With all due respects to you dear Nandni ma’am………I truly feel that several heads turned in my direction today because this tussar saree and all the traditional accessories that I am wearing right now created a quiet statement that will echo through the corridors of the fashion world.

Thanks to you dear Nandni ma’am and dear…….Samaira not only discovered herself today but tussar silk has also got all the recognition that it truly deserved.

Tears glimmered on Nandni’s eyes as she rose to give Samaira a standing ovation.

Nandni realized that she had a lot of learning to do……she had to weave in ecommerce into her subjects and she definitely had to look up this beautiful website called


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