Steps needed to ensure handloom weavers get rightful wage: Modi

Steps needed to ensure handloom weavers get rightful wageModiCHENNAI: Making a strong pitch for the handloom industry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for steps to promote it globally as well as ensure that weavers are paid their rightful wages.

Launching the National Handloom Day celebrations here, Modi also asked the film industry to popularize handloom attire through films.

“The main objective of our efforts is to increase the wages of our weavers. We need to put in place a system to ensure that they are paid rightful wages,” Modi said.

Concerned over lack of adequate branding of Indian handloom industry despite its worldwide reach, the Prime Minister said there is need to take steps to catapult it to global levels, including by enlarging the scope of e-commerce for sale of handloom products.

Noting that film industry has a major role in popularizing fashion in India, Modi said handloom can be popularized by film makers.

He also urged the Textiles Ministry to institute awards for innovative design and branding initiatives in handloom.

Modi said the government is committed to enhancing the income level of the handloom weavers apart from putting in place a robust social cover for the weavers’ families.

The income of the weavers would be directly transferred to their bank accounts to prevent middle men from taking advantage, he added.

The Prime Minister said three new social security schemes have been initiated for the benefit of the unorganized sector.

Heaping praise on the handloom weavers, the Prime Minister said compared their dedication and attachment to a mother lovingly nurturing her daughter.

Calling for increased usage of handloom, Modi said once worn, one could equate it to the food served by one’s mother, which was done with so much love and affection.

According to him, his appeal to people in October last year to use khadi had resulted in a 60 per cent year-on-year jump in its sales. .
Modi said he is emphasizing on holding events of national importance in other places rather than just New Delhi.

“We have a habit of doing it in Delhi. I try to have the government outside Delhi. The whole Delhi government is in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Recalling that it could take months for an artisan to weave a specially designed saree, Modi said it is essential that their income levels are safeguarded.

He said the government has announced creation of MUDRA bank for the micro small and medium enterprises with a corpus of Rs 20,000 crore and a credit guarantee corpus of Rs 3,000 crore.

He added, it is an endeavor to give 60 per cent of this credit as loans of up to Rs 50,000. The Prime Minister further said, only 15 per cent of the clothes we use now are handloom product, “if we just increase our usage by five per cent, the handloom sector will grow by 33 per cent”.

“We need to popularize this among our youth. This will give the much-needed boost to the handloom sector,” he added.

Modi also presented the Sant Kabir and National awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to distinguished handloom personalities.

Their expertise should be utilized for skill development programs and production of master pieces, he said.

The Prime Minister presented the India Handloom mark to three recipients – the Tangail saree, the Tanchoi saree and the Salem silk dhotis besides giving away other awards.

He also unveiled a scroll which exhibits the logo of the India Handloom mark.

The Prime Minister chose to speak in English as well as in Hindi to address the weavers who came here from across the country. He was provided with Tamil translation.–PTI

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