The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on record having  purchased a Toda hand woven shawl, a jute File Folder and a Gond Painting created by Tribal Master Craftswomen, from the Tribes India website. 

These Tribal Master Craftswomen are proud of the PM Modi.” We are thankful to him for purchasing our products. After his initiative, a number of people have started buying our products.”

“He( PM Modi) has given a big boost to tribal artisans, and women artisans in particular, on the occasion of International Women’s Day”, says Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda.

In fact, the Prime Minister had ordered for purchase of these few unique pieces from Tribes India website. Among the tribal art items he ordered is a Gond painting by Smt  Sarita Dhurvi, a tribal artisan from Dindori district, Samnapur Tehsil, Madhya Pradesh. 

Through the vibrant, earthy colours and her vivid imagination in this painting,  the artist is depicting the creation of nature. Gond tribal art, practised by the Gond tribe in Madhya Pradesh, reflect man’s close connection with the natural surroundings around him. The leaves, trees, fish, water in this painting are but a reflection of how nature was created by ‘Badadev’, or the overarching spirit or God. 

Equally unique is the exquisite form of embroidery practised by the Toda tribes of the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu.  

A pastoral community, mainly dependent on their buffalos and milk, the Todas have been living in the hills for over 3500 years.  A small community with only 1500 members, the Todas have managed to preserve their culture and ethnicity in terms of religion and customs. 

The clothing of the Todas, for centuries, has been a single unstitched garment which gave way to a set of two unstitched garments during the last century. A waist cloth or ‘Torp’ plus a cloak or shawl called Poothukuli forms most of their attire. Men and women, both wore the same garments, only draped differently. But with both styles, the drape shows off the rich embroidery. 

The Poothukuli holds a high cultural and ceremonial significance and therefore was embroidered. This is a handicraft form practised exclusively by women of the tribes – the Toda embroidery is now a GI tagged product and also adorns dining tableware, bed covers, bags and other merchandise, besides of course the shawl. With its red and black thread work on white, the pretty embroidery is so fine, often gets mistaken for weaves at first glance! 

The Toda shawl ordered by the Prime Minister has been crafted by the Toda artisan, Smt. Monisha. 

Besides this, the Prime Minister also placed an order for a handmade jute file folder in maroon colour. Made by the artisans from the Santhal tribe of West Bengal, the jute folder is made out of the madhurkathi grass, abundantly available in the 24 Paragana area. The grass is dyed in different colours and weaved with cotton thread. The strips are then joined together with cotton which forms the folds and gives the colour to the folder. 

Ms Monisha belonging to the  Toda Primitive Tribes of Tamil Nadu; Child and Social Welfare Society working with Santhal Tribals of West Bengal; and  Smt Sarita Dhurvi from the Gond Tribe of Madhya Pradesh are indeed proud today as they found the Prime Minister as the customer of their products on!!! 

Following the clarion call of the Prime Minister to promote women entrepreneurship, and in particular that of the tribal women, Smt. Smriti Irani, Minister for Textiles; Dr Harshvardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare; and Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, also purchased products from Tribes India website. 

Smt. Smriti Irani bought a bright, and beautiful Kantha cotton/ silk saree, handcrafted by the master craftswomen of West Bengal, while Dr. Harshvardhan purchased a multicolour cotton shirt and some foxtail millets. Shri Piyush Goyal bought a handloom woven herringbone waist coat. 

India is home to a large number of tribes. In fact they constitute over 8% of our total population. What makes them unique is that they have retained their natural, simple ways of life, despite the hectic pace of modernisation among them. Their arts, crafts, music, dance, cuisine, all reflect a timelessness associated with their lives. Unfortunately, this also places them in the fringe and among the disadvantaged sections of the population, considering that their sources of livelihood stem from either natural forest produce or their arts, crafts and handicrafts. 

Keeping in line with the clarion call of Atmanirbhar Abhiyan, amongst its other flagship programmes to improve the livelihoods of the tribal communities, TRIFED has an exclusive marketplace for tribal producers – forest dwellers and artisans, to facilitate the purchase of MFPs, handicrafts and handlooms online. 

 The Tribes India platform ( offers the best of tribal handicrafts and natural organic products and brings them directly to your doorsteps! An effort to empower lakhs of tribal artisans and enterprises, with a variety of natural and sustainable produce and products, the Tribes India website offers a glimpse into the age-old traditions of our tribal brethren. 

A proud commemoration of the International Women’s Day for TRIFED and its commitment to serve the tribal master craftsmen and women as well as going Vocal for Local.


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