Maniabandha village in Cuttack district of Orissa to be developed as a model weaving village on the lines of hamlets in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to promote tourism in textile hubs. An in-house survey of the village and a detailed project report is also being prepared following which a proposal will be submitted to the central government, joint secretary textiles and handloom department Raja Parija informed.
The state government plans to set up a state-of-the-art common facility centre, a demonstration centre, a raw material bank for the weavers, pension for elderly weavers, basic infrastructure such as connectivity, toilets and hotels in the village to ensure good facilities for tourists.
Tourists coming to these sites can be diverted to the model-weaving village, which may help generate employment for others as well.
The project would be implemented by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) while the raw material bank would be established by Utkalika. Located in close to Buddhist tourism sites like Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaygiri has been an added advantage for Maniabandh village.
In Maniabandha village under Badamba handloom cluster, there are around 2,822 weavers expert in producing traditional tie and dye products and Khandua design sarees. The weavers have 891 looms and produce around 100 sarees a day with an annual turnover of around Rs 5 crore. The excellent designs and texture of the Maniabandha silk sarees has got a global market today speaks volumes of the centuries old textiles legacy of the place.
The village is also popular as a Buddhist site, attracting a large number of tourists. At the demonstration centre, visitors can witness various stages of production starting with processing of raw materials to final products. Besides, they can purchase handloom products directly from the weavers, without the involvement of middlemen.
A visit to the Dalai Lama Weavers' Cooperative Society and Maniabandha Weavers' Cooperative Society would familiarise a visitor with the wonderful weaving wizardry of the villagers.
Main handloom products of the cluster include both cotton and silk varieties. While the cotton varieties are made from 2/80s to 2/120s count yarn the silk varieties are of 20/22 denier, the main products of the cluster are sarees, lungis, dress materials, napkins, stoles and dupattas. Recently designers have been engaged for catering to the needs of a classical mixture of traditional and modern designs.
Most of the people living in Maniabandha depends on the handloom industry. The model handloom village project is aimed at the overall development of the weavers` community, which is famous for unique weaving style.
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