IIT Hyderabad students wear Pochampalli capes instead of graduation gowns for convocation.
IIT Hyderabad students recently donned Pochampalli capes for convocation, giving classic black graduation gown a miss. The change is marked as a tribute to the Pochampalli weavers found in the village of Pochampalli in Telangana.
The new Pochampalli graduation capes were provided to students in three different colours. Deep brown capes to B.Tech students, light blue capes for M.Tech students and yellow coloured capes for PhD students. Students were asked to wear white kurtas and pajamas to the convocation to compliment the cape.
The idea to switch from graduation gown to Pochampalli capes was proposed a few months back by Prof Deepak Mathew who is the head of Department of Design at IIT Hyderabad. He had suggested replacing the gowns with a “cross between a stole and a cape,” which is held in place with a button” and is made by the Pochampalli weavers.
Every year, IIT Hyderabad used to hire gowns from local suppliers for INR 450 per gown. This year, students were allowed to take their Pochampalli capes back with them for roughly the same prize.
Prof Mathew, who has a work experience with National Institute of Design, worked with the Pochampalli weavers to get IIT Hyderabad logo weaved into the cape fabric. He has also worked with the weavers earlier for various classroom projects and documented their work.
However, Prof. Mathew is looking forward to improving the design by next year as the weavers had to make the cape within two months when they needed a minimum of 90 days. He has plans on giving the order to make the capes next year at least six months in advance. He also added that this move will make these weavers self-sustainable and help them promote the craft.