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Kerala Handloom Forum proposes promotion of Ayurvastra

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-13 11:00:00 – Hiruvananthapuram

Kerela handloom sector industry crisis-ridden to promote Ayurvedic brand handloom products, pegged as Ayurvastra or Clothing for Health has put forward a proposal to the State and Central head of this Indian Independence Day, as now Ayurvedic yoga mats are in demand in the US and Ayurvastra is sought after by the fashion designers from Italy, France, Germany and Japan due to its medicinal value of natural herbal dyes.

The Kerala Handloom Protection Council secretary KG Satheesh Kumar stated that two years back, Kerala Handloom Protection Forum had submitted a proposal to the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for setting up an Ayurveda Handloom Village with a pilot project worth Rs 17 crore, which is yet to see the light of day. To realize such a village, 20 more spinning mills need to be set up with dyeing units and increase cultivation of organic cotton yarn and medicinal herbs, ensuring support for the traditional weavers and the tribal traditional healers.

Now, the Forum has sought the State BJP leaders including its state president Kummanam Rajasekharan and MLA O Rajagopal to impress upon the Centre to take it forward. It has also sought the support of the state government to promote Ayur Vastra among the pilgrims to religious abodes and as Yoga mats.

The fashion designers of Milan in Italy, design companies based in the US, Germany, France and Japan and Italy are keen to procure Ayurvastra and have placed export orders. They have received Rs 30 crore worth dyeing work orders from various places, said Balaramapuram Handloom Protection Council secretary KG Satheesh Kumar.

Yet, without the state and central government support in promoting Ayurvastra, it would be tough to revive the crisis-ridden handloom sector industry in the state.

Assuring all support to handloom sector in the state including its brand Ayurvastra. BJP MLA O Rajagopal said that Handhold support for handloom' will be their motto to promote handloom at the national level this Independence Day.

About 20 lakh families spread across Kasaragod, Kannur, Thrissur, Kollam, Palakkad and Thiruvanthapuram are dependent on handloom sector for livelihood. Many handloom spinning mills are defunct, the weavers have left due to low wages and bad working conditions. The proper implementation of Handloom Reservation Act-1985 and Geological Indicator Rules are needed to check illegal entry of fake handloom products from other countries.

Termed Ayurvastra, eco-friendly medicinal clothing initiative was launched by the state Handloom directorate under the Industries department with Government Ayurveda College, a decade back. Ayurvastra is organic cotton fabric coloured with natural herbal dyes which is of high demand in the export market, which has banned chemical dyed textiles. Borne out of the experiments by traditional weavers with the support of Ayurveda physicians at Balaramapuram-based Handloom Weavers' Development Society, Ayurvastra is also used as part of Ayurvedic treatment for paralysis, rheumatism, hypertension, diabetes, psoriasis and various skin diseases. This medicinal clothing is used as bed linens, mattresses, carpets, floors, ceilings, coir mats and with satin, linen and silk textiles.

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