Empowering Ashoknagar

Chanderi, which is located in the Ashoknagar district, is known for its weavers. Jyotiraditya has taken a special interest in making Chanderi a model town for the district. He has undertaken numerous projects in the region to improve infrastructure with special emphasis on the treasured weavers. He has also enabled the setting-up of a Kendriya Vidyalaya in Mungaoli and there is a proposal to establish another Kendriya Vidyalaya in Chanderi as well. Apart from this, hostels for girls and boys, a high school, and a model school have also been set up.

The Chanderi Story

India’s famous Chanderi saris hail from its namesake city, which is located in the Ashoknagar district. Jyotiraditya is passionate about restoring Chanderi to its historic glory. In 2002, the old architectural heritage of the iconic town was in dire need of restoration. Jyotiraditya enabled the adoption of this city by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the restoration work on its monuments.

As Chanderi, a town that is very close to Jyotiraditya’s heart, was in danger of being forgotten, he felt that enshrining its monuments with living workspaces for weavers to establish themselves, was necessary to celebrate their skills and creativity. To this end, he enabled the restoration of the Raja Rani Mahal, which was a crumbling structure until 2002. Raja Rani Mahal was made into a living workspace that provides for facilities for weavers to learn how to design using modern technology. Computer classes are also provided to women in the Mahal, which is a big step towards women’s empowerment and independence.

During his tenure as I.T. & Telecom Minister, Jyotiraditya and his team provided CAD/CAM and CAD Machines to the next generation of young weavers, so they could overcome and surpass the technology curve. One of the weavers even won the competition on CAD/CAM machines to design the scarves for Delhi’s Commonwealth Games. Jyotiraditya believes that such programmes ensure the continuity of our cultural heritage and enable these communities to contribute to the region’s growth and development.

To ensure that citizens are empowered and self-sufficient, Jyotiraditya provided solar lights to Chanderi weavers and other small-scale industry workers in the area, including 3,000 ​beedi labourers.

Jyotiraditya also set up the Chanderi Museum to showcase the glorious history of Madhya Pradesh.