An event to celebrate Lambadi hand embroidery

Bombay, October 14: Porgai Sharing Pride is a two-day event on October 15-16 at the Nehru Center in Worli, Mumbai. The event consists of the screening of the award-winning documentary film Porgai: a film about the revival of Tamil Nadu’s Lambadi embroidery, a gripping visual narrative that deals with craftsmanship, the hardships of rural economies and gender bias.

Porgai Artisans Association is a society of women artisans from the Lambadi community of the Sittilingi Valley, a lush landscape within Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu. Porgai, which means pride in the Lambadi dialect, was formed as a society in 2006 to revive traditional Lambadi hand embroidery and earn an independent livelihood for women artisans. Dr. Lalitha Regi and Dr. Regi George have taken the initiative to help local farmers and Lambadi women to revive traditional crafts. Soon the company Porgai Artisans was formed.

While so many doctors in India choose to pay for their rural pain, here is a couple who chose rural India over a more lucrative life in the city. When they had children, there were no schools in and around Sittlingi to send them to. For a year, Lalitha and Regi homeschooled their children, after which they managed admission to Rishi Valley, a boarding school run by the Krishnamurthi Foundation. Their choice of work indeed demanded several sacrifices from Lalitha and Regi but by remaining committed to their decision to provide medical care to the people of Sittlingi and the surrounding area, they offer a model that can and should be implemented by conscious doctors. .

Throughout their journey, the artisans of Porgai have truly excelled in their craft and attempted several projects of impressive artistic distinction. It was in 2020 that Anagha Unni, filmmaker, captured the essence of Porgai and its unique place in creating a sustainable and equitable model of livelihood creation. The documentary film invites the viewer into the heart of the Sittilingi Valley and what makes the Porgai Artisans Association a crucial example of upholding justice and fairness.

The screening of the film at the Hall of Harmony, Nehru Center will be accompanied by a series of photos in the adjoining room, showcasing the daily life, past glories and oral tales prevalent within the Sittilingi Lambadi community which would offer a vision deeper in the lives of craftsmen. In addition to this, an exciting range of exclusive products from Porgai such as home furnishings, a variety of garments like kurtas, skirts, blouses, dresses and elaborately embroidered pieces will be on sale. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days with three screenings (11:30 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.) each day. You are invited to experience the courage, grace and perseverance and to witness the competence of many rural women and their efforts to defend the young and the beautiful.

The event will be opened by Ms. Brinda Miller, Fine Artist and Hon. President, Kala Ghoda Association.