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Bihar govt to revive Obra carpet industry
04
Jan '12
The once flourishing carpet weaving industry in Obra, situated in Aurangabad district of the north Indian State of Bihar, has got a ray of hope as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced his government's support for the revival of the traditional art.

Though Obra has a legacy in making carpets, which were once famous all over the world, today the industry has become dormant due to government apathy, and migration and lack of interest of artisans in carrying the art further.

Factors like withdrawal of subsidies, lack of government support and loss of market has converted this once thriving industry into a small scale unit.

All this has proved highly detrimental for the artisans engaged in carpet weaving in Obra, as compared to other potent loom owners in other regions of the country.

An average carpet weaver in Obra hardly makes Rs. 60 a day by pursuing the art, which is not enough to feed an entire family. This situation has compelled the artisans to shift to other regions like J&K, Rajasthan, UP and Punjab.

As a result, the new generation is not enthusiastic in taking up the art of carpet weaving for their livelihood, nor do the parents want their kids to do so.

Although the CM's assurance has incited a ray of hope, it still remains to be seen how far this materializes in the light of government's intentions to actually revive the industry.

Industries Minister Renu Kumari informed that a project report, similar to that being prepared for weavers of Banka, would be prepared for the government to consider how best it can support the revival of the Obra carpet industry.

Obra's legacy in carpet weaving dates back to the Buddhist and Mauryan age. However, as it is well known, the pile carpet was discovered only about 300 years ago during the Mughal era, and it flourished because of the royal benefaction bestowed upon the carpet industry.

Traditional designs deriving inspiration from the Indo-Persian style and floral and geometrical patterns remains the speciality of Obra carpets. Besides, cotton carpets with geometric motifs, simple lines and symmetric designs are also produced in Obra.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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