Gangwar launches training course for Odisha SC weavers
Taking forward the Prime minister's 'Skill-India' initiative in Odisha's Bargarh handloom cluster, Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar disbursed loans of more than Rs 10 lakh to handloom weavers and inaugurated a 45-day long skill upgradation training programme for Scheduled Caste handloom weavers in the Sohlela Block.
At an impressive function in Birjam village on Friday, the Minister also gave away the certificates to pass outs of the first Handloom Entrepreneur training course and visited an exhibition of exquisite Ikat handloom products made by awardees and producers registered under the India Handloom Brand, according to a Textiles Ministry press release.
The loan sanction letters to handloom weavers were handed by the Minister under the Pradhan Mantri Weaver MUDRA Scheme. Rajendra Meher, an Ikat product manufacturer registered with the India Handloom Brand was awarded a loan sanction letter of Rs. 10 lakh from IDBI bank, while 13 more weavers who had earlier passed the Handloom Entrepreneur course were given loan sanction letters ranging from Rs. 5 lakh to 10 lakh.
Bargarh MLA Pradip Purohit and Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Alok Kumar were among others those present on the occasion. During the skill upgradation and training programme, the weavers would get a daily stipend or wage compensation of Rs 210, the release said.
Gangwar said that the Central Government is implementing several new initiatives aimed at raising the daily average income of handloom weavers to Rs. 500 and that the Government was committed to giving special priority to scheduled caste weavers.
More than 90 per cent of the 600 weavers who will stand to benefit by the block-level cluster project in Sohela, belong to the SC category, the release said.
The Ministry of Textiles has requested state governments to send projects of blocks that have high concentration of SC weavers, on priority.
Bargarh is a large cluster of handloom weaving and is famous for tie and dye Ikat weaves. It has produced a large number of national awardees.
Block level cluster project is a new approach adopted by the Government for comprehensive development of handloom weavers. Under it, a project can avail assistance up to Rs two crore for activities such as skill upgradation, loom upgradation, work sheds, professional assistance from a designer, common facility centre, dye house and a raw material depot. In the last one year, the government has sanctioned 228 projects 19 of which are in Odisha. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India