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Asia's second handloom park to come up in Orissa
Jun '11
In consideration of the decreasing number of skilled weavers, Orissa government has decided to establish a handloom park in Bargarh district. The new handloom park is being created with an aim to train people from non-weavers community who are willing to learn the art and engage in weaving.

The Sambalpuri Ikat Handloom Park that is being set up at Katapali village of the Barpali block in Bargarh, will be at a distance of around 400 km from the State's capital Bhubaneswar. The Sambalpuri Park would be Asia's second handloom park, next to the one in Kochampalli near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.

It is proposed to set up the handloom park in 25 acres under public-private partnership mode. 10 acres of land has already been acquired for the park which would house 2,000 looms and would provide employment to around 3,000 workers.

Besides imparting training on tie-dye processing, manufacturing, and finishing of the goods, the willing persons would also be trained to work on looms, so that the output is in tune with market demands.

With over 35,000 weavers and allied textile workers, Bargarh is Orissa's largest handloom cluster. Artisans at this handloom cluster, which houses 12,500 looms, are involved in weaving napkins, lungis and tie-dye cotton saris.

Bhulias, who are also popularly known as Meher, is presently the biggest community of weavers in Bargarh, from where the world renowned Sambalpuri saris originate. Today, only a few members of this weavers' community are left who are still engaged in the age-old tradition.

Hence, it may soon happen that the craft may become extinct with no weavers interested in carrying it further. To avoid such a situation, the upcoming handloom park proposes to train all those willing to learn the art.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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