Union minister of state for Textiles, Ajay Tamta has saluted the handloom weavers for their commitment, dedication and skill and said that the centre is taking various initiatives for their welfare.

Presiding over the main event of the 3rd National Handloom Day celebrations in Guwahati, Tamta said weavers should be able to earn due value for their products, and that Government is working in this direction.

While enlisting various initiatives taken for welfare of weavers, the Minister referred to ‘Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata Scheme’ under which government assists the weaver by bearing 90 per cent of the cost of new looms. He also spoke of MUDRA scheme, under which loans ranging from Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 10 lakh can be availed by the weavers, with no requirement for any security whatsoever. Ministry of Textiles has entered into MoUs with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) whereby children of weavers shall be able to avail school and university education, with 75 per cent of fees being borne by the centre. Tamta assured the Assam Chief Minister that the centre will do all that is required to support the state in advancing the welfare of weavers of the State.

Speaking on the occasion Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for choosing Guwahati as the venue for the main event of 3rd National Handloom Day. He noted that more than 50 per cent of total weaver population of India resides in North Eastern Region, most of whom are women. The prime objective of holding National Handloom Day in Guwahati is to empower women and girls. Sonowal also spoke about the huge potential of Handloom sector in North East.

A MoU was signed at the venue, between ministry of textiles and common service centres, under which weavers will be able to avail a wide array of Government services under one roof – from Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs). The centre will henceforth serve as a one-stop centre for weavers, providing various services, including banking, passport, insurance, PAN card, voter ID and AADHAAR. Weavers will also be able to pay their electricity bills and undertake online courses at WSCs. There are 28 WSCs under the office of development commissioner (Handlooms), functioning in various parts of the country.

Another MoU was signed, between the ministry and designers under which reputed textile designers will work closely with handloom weavers, passing on design assistance and knowledge. This is thereby expected to improve the market potential of the handloom products and improve the earnings of weavers.

The Day was also celebrated across the country through various programmes. The textiles minister Smriti Irani addressed at a function at Ahmedabad.

–  Apparel and Textile News, Apparel Talk, Indian Apparel

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