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Kerela handloom sector has put forward a proposal to the state and central heads to promote Ayurvedic brand handloom products, as now Ayurvedic yoga mats are in demand in the US and Ayurvastra, clothing for health, 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 centre 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 help of state political leaders to impress upon the centre to take it forward. It has also urged 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, 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, Kumar said.

About 20 lakh families spread across Kasaragod, Kannur, Thrissur, Kollam, Palakkad and Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala 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.


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