Railways' 1 Station 1 Product a hit in Andhra Pradesh
Deccan Chronicle.| DC Correspondent
"One Station One Product" Kiosk showcasing Etikoppakka Lacquer & Wooden toys at Vishakhapatnam Rly Station. (Image Source: Twitter)
VIJAYAWADA: The One Station One Product outlets have turned out to be a hit across 72 railway stations within the jurisdiction of South Central Railway covering the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Within AP, 35 railway stations are selling unique products in their areas.
One Station One Product scheme had been introduced by the Ministry of Railways with a mission to promote local/indigenous products, with the railway station becoming the market for promoting the products famous around the areas of the station, particularly the arts and crafts of people belonging to marginalised sections.
SCR general manager Arun Kumar Jain said the scheme provides a great opportunity for local artisans for showcasing their products.
In Andhra Pradesh, 35 stations are promoting such products, including Vijayawada, Nellore, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Ongole, Gudivada, Tirupati, Guntur and Guntakal. Some of the products include handlooms by local weavers, such as traditional Kalamkari sarees, jute products, imitation jewellery, wooden handicrafts, Girijan products and local delicacies, like pickles, masala powders, papads, shell paintings and rice art.
Andhra Pradesh is renowned for Kalamkari, which are hand-painted cotton textiles of two distinctive styles – Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam. Their theme is largely mythological. Making a Kalamkari product involves as many as 15 steps. Eight railway stations in AP have been dedicated to Kalamkari and other handloom sarees and textiles. They help local weavers sell their products directly to people, thereby benefitting both sellers and buyers.
AP is also known for its various handicrafts, particularly wood carvings, ranging from dolls and other figurines. Six One Station One Product (OSOP) outlets market these, including wooden cutlery and Etikoppaka lacquerware toys.
Krishna Kumari, who has an outlet at Guntur Railway station, sells eco-friendly jute bags. "I was struggling for a proper marketing platform. However, after the unveiling of our OSOP stall, we are making daily sales of 5,000 and 7,000 during the festive seasons. We are also conducting skill development training programmes for women and disadvantaged groups so that they can start earning their livelihood.
Gudivada weaver C. Kanakaratnam sells Kalamkari sarees at the Gudivada railway station. "The hard work behind weaving of Kalamkari sarees is now getting due recognition in terms of money, as products are being sold directly to customers, without going through wholesalers and retailers. The craftspeople have gained confidence and now have a sense of satisfaction," he remarked.