The handloom sector plays a very important role in the country’s economy. It is one of the largest economic activity providing direct employment to over 70 lakhs persons engaged in weaving and allied activities. Handloom Industry is the symbol of <g data-gr-id="30">self reliance</g> and generates employment for millions of small weavers.
A panel discussion on Revival of handloom and increasing earning of the the Handloom weavers, was recently held at the India International Centre, where the panelists were Ritu Kumar, eminent Fashion Designer, Sudha Pillai, Retd. IAS, Member Secretary of Planning Commission, Jaya Jaitley, Founder – President of Dastkari Haat Samiti, Anita Lal, the founder of Good Earth, along with SK Panda, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.
“The economy of Panipat is based on several industrial agriculture, tourism and handloom. The city is famous for ‘panja durrie’, a kind of floor covering, which is in great demand in India and abroad. Originally, it was a traditional item made by village women but slowly the product came to be recognised beyond Panipat and growing demand for durries resulted in a burgeoning numbers of private and <g data-gr-id="54">state owned</g> weaving units within the city,” said SK Panda, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.
Fashion designer Ritu Kumar noted, “Handloom goods are the important cottage and home industries taken up by the people. Among the women folk, handloom cloth weaving is the traditional occupation of the district. The whole handloom industry survives on heavy subsidies today, as it has always done.”
Jaya Jaitley, founder-president of the Dastkari Haat Samiti shared how she brought into being the vibrant Dilli Haat where crafts are displayed and sold in the atmosphere of a <g data-gr-id="34">mela</g>.
Author of the book The Artistry of Handwork, she further explains, “We take things for granted and don’t perceive what is around us. This book helps us <g data-gr-id="35">notice,</g> and feel happy about the simple beauty of <g data-gr-id="33">craft</g>.”
But the question which lingers is... ‘People are willing to spend so much in malls on <g data-gr-id="48">diffrent</g> products and they don’t bargain. Why not on crafts that help form our identity and culture?<g data-gr-id="43">’</g>, to which Sudha Pillai, Retd. IAS, Member Secretary of Planning Commission commented, ‘Many exhibitions needs to be showcased, which displays applications on metal, wood, clay, woven textiles and traditional art.
There are hand <g data-gr-id="50">block-printed</g> and embroidered textiles from Rajasthan, hand-woven textiles from Varanasi, terracotta from Kerala, leatherwork from West Bengal, Madhubani art, hand-painted and <g data-gr-id="51">natural-dyed</g> textiles in Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Pattachitra from Orissa, painted wooden objects from Kashmir and plenty more to choose from.’