Textiles minister Santosh Gangwar disbursed loans of more than Rs 10 lakh to handloom weavers and inaugurated a 45-day long skill upgradation training programme for scheduled caste handloom weavers in the Sohlela Block as per the Prime minister’s ‘Skill-India’ initiative in Odisha’s Bargarh handloom cluster.
At an impressive function in Birjam village on Friday, the minister also gave away the certificates to passouts of the first Handloom Entrepreneur training course and visited an exhibition of exquisite Ikat handloom products made by awardees and producers registered under the India Handloom Brand, according to a textiles ministry press release.
The loan sanction letters to handloom weavers were handed over by the minister under the Pradhan Mantri Weaver MUDRA Scheme. Bargarh MLA Pradip Purohit and development commissioner (Handlooms), Alok Kumar were, among others, present on the occasion. During the skill upgradation and training programme, the weavers would get a daily stipend or wage compensation of Rs 210, the release said.
Gangwar said that the centre is implementing several new initiatives aimed at raising the daily average income of handloom weavers to Rs. 500 and that the government was committed to giving special priority to scheduled caste weavers.
The ministry of textiles has requested state governments to send projects of blocks that have high concentration of SC weavers, on priority. Bargarh is a large cluster of handloom weaving and is famous for tie and dye Ikat weaves. It has produced a large number of national awardees.