Union Minister of Textiles Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the Weavers Service Centre (WSC) at Raigarh on Kotra Road bypass virtually on August 7. Darshna Vikram Jardosh, the Union Minister of States for Textiles, will also be present.
The event is being held as part of the National Handloom Day. August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement, which was launched on this day in 1905. It is observed annually in honour of handloom weavers and to provide impetus to the handloom industry.
How did it begin?
In July 2015, the Union government declared 7 August as National Handloom Day with an aim to generate awareness about the importance of the handloom industry. On 7 August 2015, the first National Handloom Day was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai.
At the National level, ‘My Handloom My Pride Expo’ is being organised from 1 August to 15 August 2021 at Dilli Haat, New Delhi by National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC). More than 125 Handloom agencies/ National awardees belonging to 22 states are participating. Through this expo, handloom agencies not only market their products at reasonable rates but also come to know the choice of customers regarding colour, design, and weaving for future improvement of the product.
Bharat Jodo Andolan
In his 79th edition of the programme ‘Maan Ki Baat’ last Sunday, PM Narendra Modi asked the nation to buy and popularise Khadi products to contribute to ‘Bharat Jodo Andolan’ (Unite India Movement). He referred to National Handloom Day, when he urged countrymen to do everything possible to increase the use of handlooms in our lives. “National Handloom Day is coming up. Let us unite and do everything possible to further popularise handlooms in our lives. The successes of Khadi over the last few years are widely known. You must have noticed that from the year 2014 onwards, we often touch upon Khadi in Mann ki Baat. It is only because of your efforts that today, the sale of Khadi has risen manifold,” said PM Modi.
Obeetee Women Weavers Programme
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the heartland of India, most of Obeetee’s 25000 odd weavers live and work out of remote villages, connected by winding roads amidst vast swathes of farmland. People here live traditional lives that conform in many ways to stereotyped gender attributions. While creating awareness among the weaving community to break away from gender conformity, Obeetee’s Women Weavers CSR initiative trains women in rug-weaving techniques – a practice that was hitherto an exclusive domain of men.
Through the Women Weavers programme started in 2015, they teach a familiar skill while guiding them in balancing out their training with domestic responsibilities. Through this CSR initiative, Obeetee has brought into its workforce hundreds of women, overcoming previous reservations among their communities about sending them to work outside the home. Their efforts are to afford them equal opportunity, both in their careers as well as their homes. 865 of the women trained under the Women’s Weavers initiative have made weaving their profession.
Antaran by Tata Trusts
Antaran is an initiative by Tata Trusts to bring seminal changes in craft development, beginning with the Handloom sector. Antaran creates awareness about the rich heritage of Indian handloom and handicrafts, bringing due recognition as well as returns to traditional artisans for their unique skills. Through this platform, Tata Trusts promotes exquisite textiles of lesser-known handloom regions in India. The Centres work as education and business development hubs for artisans, enabling them to be designer-weavers and build a community of micro-entrepreneurs across the handloom value chain in each region.
Bodo Handloom Scheme by McLeod Russel
The Bodo community is one of the earliest tribes to settle in Assam and their complex art of weaving is an integral part of the Bodo culture. To encourage and empower the women of the Bodo community, McLeod Russel started the Bodo Handloom Scheme (BHS) in 1995 at Borengajuli Tea Estate in Assam. This highly successful community-based scheme has not only empowered numerous women to continue their cultural heritage but increased their income also.
As a part of the scheme, McLeod Russel procures yarn locally at wholesale rates which is then dyed near Borengajuli before being distributed amongst the weavers. An office and a store for yarn and finished goods have been provided to the Scheme by the McLeod tea estate and it is here that the weavers gather twice a week. In addition to providing yarn free of cost to weavers, McLeod also offers guidance in design, colour combinations, sizes and finish of the products.