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Need to preserve traditional skills of weaving, Textiles Secretary
Jun '10
To review the impact of various initiatives taken for the development of the handlooms sector and the welfare of weavers as also various schemes being implemented for the preservation of their unique weaving skills, a two day meeting of the State Directors of Handlooms & Textiles concluded here yesterday.

26 Commissioners and Directors of Handlooms & Textiles from all the States attended the meeting. During the meeting, an action plan for expeditious implementation of the schemes for the remaining part of the year 2010-11 was finalized.

During discussion, Smt. Rita Menon, Secretary (Textiles) emphasised the need not only to preserve the traditional skills of weaving but also to upgrade the designs in a contemporary context to find a market both in domestic as well as international arenas. The Government of India is already providing full support through policy measures and with financial assistance. In fact, the total outlay for the handloom sector has been substantially enhanced from 340 crores to 426 crore for the year 2010-11. She called upon the State Governments to take pro-active steps to enable the initiatives of the Government of India to reach the handloom weavers effectively. Secretary (Textiles) highlighted the steps taken so far through technology outreach as well as by providing successful marketing support through Public Private Partnership mode.

Textile Secretary also stressed the need to preserve the traditional craft as well as to integrate it in contemporary context by involvement of Public Private Partnership. She also underlined the importance of to conserving the traditional weaves under the Geographical Indication Act (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 to prevent these skills from languishing or being copied.

Giving the details of important initiatives taken during the last year, the textiles secretary said that the support of professional designers and the technology intervention for design development, availability of designs free of cost on the website in 14 regional languages has made the access to contemporary and traditional designs very easy. The large plethora of schemes has been simplified. Social security measures are being provided to the weavers' community through Health and Life insurance schemes which provide cover to the weavers against natural/ accidental deaths as well as day to day ailment, through 900 OPDs and 2700 IPD Centres.

The way ahead is to pursue Brand building of handloom products which is the need of the day and to make them niche products for the high end consumers and the fashion conscious youth. In fact the handloom sector should develop a strong linkage with Sericulture sector so as to have viable linkage right from reeling and weaving onwards the textiles Secretary added.

Press Information Bureau

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