When Kabita Singh decided to take up Tasar (also Tussar or Tassar) sericulture in 2014, she faced opposition from her husband and others in Shyamnagar village of West Bengal’s Jhargram district. The panchayat ostracised her because the work required to travel out of the village.
“My job involved going to nearby villages to train women in Tasar sericulture (silk farming). My husband and the villagers were against the idea of a woman going out of the village. It was unheard of. But I stood my ground,” says 31-year-old Kabita who is now separated from her abusive husband.
Kabita started Tasar farming with support from NGO Pradan in her village Shyamnagar of West Bengal’s Jhargram district. Tasar is a wild silk and its farming involves growing cocoons from which silk yarn is extracted to make fabric.