Shalom self-help group was initiated in 2005, primarily to help women in the Niligiri area who have the full-time responsibility of running a household to earn an additional income without compromising on their household demands. Women are trained in basic sewing skills and make products like cushion covers and bedspreads. The Toda women specializing in their intricate form of embroidery make these products unique to this region. Each woman is compensated for her work, based on the complexity and length of the piece and this in turn motivates them to work as well as raises their self-worth and independence. Shalom products marry exquisite traditional embroidery with every-day products. They are known for their quality and aesthetic values.
The Todas are a primitive tribal group inhabiting the Nilgiris in Ooty,Tamilnadu. They are a pastoral community and their current population is approximately 1500. They have developed a distinctive style of intricate embroidery based on calculation or counting. Using white or cream matted fabric as the base, woolen threads in red or black color are used to create bands and other motifs giving it a rich and embossed look. Traditionally white, red and black are the only colours permitted as they symbolise the Toda culture ,where white represents purity and innocence, red stands for youth and black for maturity.
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