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The heritage connection: Fashion connoisseurs pour in accolades for muslin-khadi produce

Kolkata: Muslin-khadi material produced by weavers of Howrah has received widespread accolades from fashion designers and connoisseurs from the country.
West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has tied up with Udaynarayanpur Pancharul North Harishchandrapur Khadi and Village Development Organisation to unite the weavers. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took initiatives to revive muslin and those weavers whose financial condition had gone from bad to worse.
After the revival of muslin, the weavers were given training. Accordingly, the weavers of Udaynarayanpur began to carry out experiments with khadi and muslin respectively. Khadi materials containing 40 counts were mixed with 100 counts fine muslin cloth. It is for the first time in the state when the unique muslin-khadi material is being produced in the state for the first time and probably in the country, said a senior official of state Muslin Board.
Garments particularly shirts, kurtas and kurtis in bright colours and made out of the mixed material has received widespread appreciation.
The muslin produced by the weavers has received international appreciation. Apart from sarees, shirts, kurtas, kurtis and bed linen and pillow covers made of muslin are being sold through different outlets of Biswa Bangla. Even costume jewellery made of muslin has received appreciation from the buyers from abroad.
In view of the success of muslin, it is hoped that the mixed material will have a very good market both in the country and abroad, said a senior state government official.
Various schemes taken up by the state government have helped over 6,000 weavers in Howrah district to become financially stable. Artisan Welfare Trust has been set up to look after the interests of the weavers.
Under Janashree scheme, children of the weavers studying in Classes IX and X are getting a monthly stipend of Rs 1,200. The family of the weavers who die while working get Rs 3,000.
The weavers can also take loans from the trust in times of need. As the financial condition of the weavers has improved manifold, they are working hard to improve the quality of their produce, the senior official stated.
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