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Andhra Pradesh seeks to boost handloom sector
Feb '16
If the Andhra Pradesh has its way, the state will soon have eight handloom clusters. The State Government has proposed the Ministry of Textiles to set up eight handloom clusters in Krishna district to boost the handloom industry under the Ministry's National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP).

Each of the proposed clusters would be equipped with infrastructure to directly cover at least 300 handloom weavers and provide indirect employment for hundreds of workers, including women. The clusters can potentially relieve many weavers caught in a debt trap.

“We have already submitted a proposal to the Development Commissioner of Handlooms, New Delhi, recommending the need for setting up eight clusters in Krishna district. A sum of Rs. 2 crore will be sanctioned for each cluster,” Assistant Director (Handlooms) Ch. Laxmana Rao told The Hindu.

According to the proposal, four of the clusters are to be set up at Pedana and one each at Machilipatnam, Ghantasala, Mallavolu, and Polavaram in Krishna district. Each cluster will cover weavers in the surrounding areas.

“The cluster, a house of at least 300 handlooms, consists of work and yarn dying sheds. Experts in the fields of dying and designing will also share their expertise with the weavers to tap the market for their products, mostly sari,” added Laxmana Rao.

The clusters are likely to rescue the debt-ridden weavers caught in the grip of 'master weavers', who are actually money lenders who own handloom worksheds at the village level.

The system had taken its toll in tiny towns of Pedana, Kappaladoddi, and Polavaram in Krishna district, forcing hundreds of weavers out of the industry.

Under the NHDP, a weaver who owns 100 yards of land would be financially assisted to construct a workshed, apart from being trained in designing.

In 2015 December, the State government announced a loan waiver of Rs.110 crore for weavers and the beneficiaries had also been identified in the district. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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