Odisha handloom clusters to promote textile tourism in the State

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-11-03 10:50:00 – Bhubaneswar

The Ministry of Textiles has identified Odisha’s four handloom clusters - Berhampur cluster in Ganjam district, Badamba in Cuttack district, Gopalpur I and Gopalpur II in Jajpur district and Sonepur mega cluster in Sonepur district, to promote textile tourism in the State.

The four handloom clusters will soon get tourism tag as these clusters are located in proximity to tourism spots like Gopalpur-on-sea, Maniabandh Buddhist village and Diamond Triangle of Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udaygiri, the Ministry aims to link promotion of tourism and handloom through textile tourism.

Additional Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Dinesh Singh said that textile tourism is aimed at showcasing the uniqueness of the products manufactured in the clusters to the tourists as well as highlighting the salient methodologies followed in the manufacturing chain which make the Odisha textile products stand tall in the global arena.

The plan includes showing tourists glimpses of the textile manufacturing chain in the villages of Maniabandh, Gopalpur, Sagarpali, Barpali and Berhampur city, that fall under the four handloom clusters.

While Maniabandh under Badamba cluster is famous for traditional tie and dye products of ‘Khandua’ design, Gopalpur clusters under Rasulpur block of Jajpur district are reputed for traditional Tassar fabrics. Similarly, Sagarpali and Barpali, both under Sonepur handloom cluster, are reputed for Bomkai and Ikat products respectively.

The silk Pattu sarees produced in Berhampur give it the name ‘Silk City’. Around 1,295 weaver families live in different parts of Ganjam district, out of which 250 live in Berhampur and work under the Berhampur handloom cluster.

A total of 2,822 weavers are under the Badamba cluster, while the number is 3,124 for Gopalpur clusters I & II, 2,607 in Sagarpali and 3,286 in Barpali (both under Sonepur cluster).

Since these clusters are located close to popular tourism destinations, visitors can be diverted to the villages concerned, which in a way will promote handloom of the particular area. The uniqueness of these places is Ikat, Silk, Tassar and Bomkai in the form of textile tourism.

Under the scheme, a few outlets with the help of private sponsorship will be opened in the villages to help visitors witness all 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.

The project is still in the budding stage, but would soon be implemented with support from both the weavers’ associations in the areas and the State Government.

A similar project has been implemented by the Ministry in Tirupur village of Tamil Nadu, where the knitwear industry is the focus area.

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