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Kerala handloom sector to get back its glory with revival package

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-12-28 16:00:00 – Kola,m

Kerala state government has come out with a revival package to bring back glory to its ailing traditional sector, Handloom. According to officials with the Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles, some 3,400 traditional weavers to be roped in during the initial phase will be assured work for 300 days.

The traditional weavers, who had been forced to go in search of greener pastures owing to lack of work and poor wages, would be wooed back and cooperative societies that closed shop would be persuaded to resume functioning.

K Sudhir, Director of Handlooms and Textiles said that the government’s plan for reviving the handloom sector is both innovative and challenging as it has been found that the market is flooded with handloom and powerloom cloth manufactured in other states. On account of this, their products don’t get enough brand recall. The aim now is to dissuade the handloom and powerloom products of other states, thereby promoting indigenous products.

According to K Sudhir, bringing back the traditional weavers, who had left the field was an ambitious programme. Besides, the government move is apparently intended to reduce the state’s reliance on Tamil Nadu-based cooperative societies for dyeing the handloom products.

A recent directive from the government sought to put an end to the outsourcing of the dyeing business within five months and to look into the resources available in Kerala.

Free uniform fabric to government schools has been found seem to be the initial step towards achieving the said goals will be through a programme in which 360 handloom cooperative societies will be asked to produce 30 lakh metre of handloom cloth.

The cloth thus produced will be offered free of cost as uniform fabric to 13.50 lakh students of government and aided schools, in the next academic year. Most importantly, it is believed that such a programme could ensure employment to 3,400 weavers, with each weaver required to produce six metre of handloom cloth daily.

The main aim of the programme is to make the handloom sector stable in the next one or two years. Employment generation will attract more weavers to the sector and so far the response from the weavers has been pretty good. At the same time, it might be rather premature to comment on the success of the programme as they might have to wait for one month before taking stock.

Earlier, during the Revised Budget Speech, Finance Minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac had set aside Rs71 crore for handloom and powerloom industries. In addition to this, Rs30 crore was earmarked for market intervention and income assurance scheme.

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