In a bid to create awareness about benefits of the Handloom Mark, a unique brand image for original handloom goods, the Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department has decided to make it compulsory to adopt Handloom Mark for weaving sector.
The exhibitions and craft fairs hosted by the Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, and Government of Odisha will not allow weavers and primary weaver societies to participate in such event unless they take on the Handloom Mark scheme for their hand woven products.
The Handloom Mark is a label issued by the office of the Development Commissioner for Handloom with the implementing agency being the Textiles Committee, Union Ministry of Textiles. The objective behind this introduction was to help buyers distinguish between genuine hand woven items crafted by weavers and imitations.
The Handloom Mark scheme was introduced by the Central Government in 2006-07, but received poor response from weavers in Odisha. Although Textiles Department has been urging weavers to register for Handloom Mark for their products, many have not come forward.
Department officials said that the Mark aims at promoting handloom products in domestic and international markets, enhancing the international marketing linkages, improving price realization and ensuring uninterrupted work flow to registered weavers.
In the last one year, the Textile Committee of Union Ministry of Textiles has received just about 151 applications from weavers of Odisha for registration under Handloom Mark scheme.
According to official reports, Odisha has 40,683 weaver households with 43,653 looms. Only 160 weavers have been registered under the scheme till date. This apart, 28 master weavers, 38 primary handloom cooperative societies, three apex handloom societies, two retailers and five self help groups (SHGs) have registered their products with Handloom Mark.
The Odisha office of Textile Committee has sold 46,565 labels for domestic fabric and 1,90,491 labels for domestic made-up fabrics. Sources in the Department said that the pending 151 applications for Handloom Mark will be cleared by August 20 and awareness programmes on the benefits of the scheme are being held at regular intervals.
At present, only Odisha handloom products that are exported carry Handloom Mark, while the handloom products that are sold in the local market does not bear the Handloom Mark causing difficulty for the consumer to identify genuine handloom products.
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