The Indian Silk industry in the North East, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, is all set for a grand revival with the opening of a state-of-the-art 'Khadi Eri Silk Training cum Production Centre' in Tawang by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Nestled in the snow-clad Himalayan peaks at an altitude of nearly 14,000 feet, the silk training cum production centre was inaugurated by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena on Thursday. The centre has been set up with assistance of Buddhist Culture Preservation Society, Bomdila, which is providing the training and technical support while KVIC has provided the required infrastructure like handlooms, charkha, silk reeling machines and warping drums, etc. The centre is providing direct employment to 20 women artisans of Tawang and West Kameng districts.
Setting up of the Khadi Silk Centre in Arunachal Pradesh is inspired by the Prime Minister's vision of creating sustainable development in the remotest of Indian places and creating livelihood for the locals under 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan'. This is the second Silk Training cum Production Centre set up by KVIC in Arunachal Pradesh in less than 2 years' time. Earlier, KVIC had inaugurated Eri Silk Training cum Production Centre in Village Chullyu of Arunachal Pradesh on September 17, 2020.
Chairman KVIC said the 'Khadi Eri Silk Training cum Production Centre' aims at reviving the Silk Industry in the entire North East which was almost destroyed in the last few decades. "This facility in Tawang will be a big boost to spinning and weaving activities in the entire region. Training of artisans and supporting the production of Eri Silk, which is indigenous to the North Eastern states, will create local employment and sustainable development in the region. Young designers and professionals of NIFT will also provide training to Khadi artisans at this centre to introduce new designs and develop trendier clothing to suit the modern taste," Saxena said.
For centuries, Silk has been intrinsic to the life of people in the North East but the flooding of low-quality silk in these markets also destroyed the Silk industry from North East. The development assumes significance as the tribal population in Arunachal Pradesh, men and women alike, traditionally wear Eri Silk and Khadi Cotton clothes which carries a deep significance to their egalitarian tribal society. However, the people of the state were forced to buy Silk from outside markets including those in Assam.
KVIC also aims to connect the centre with the tourists visiting Tawang and thus providing an assured market to the local artisans for their products. The production centre will be equipped to cater to the market demand.