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Silent handloom revolution in Baksa villages of Assam
Jun '11
A silent handloom textile revolution is in the making, thanks to the villagers of Baksa district in Assam. More than 50 families in few villages belonging to the district are weaving fabrics for Bakhoo and half keera, traditional wear of Bhutanese men and women, respectively. These families are also weaving fabrics for gamosa, dakhana and arnai.

In these remote villages, each household has handloom sets varying from five to twenty. Everyone in the family, from young to old, is adept at weaving. These families even hire weavers who seriously involve themselves in creating fabric.

While the local people supply the necessary yarn, the finished products are sold in Thimpu, Samdrupdzonkhar, Gelephu, and other cities of Bhutan.

Being in a very remote area, the cottage industry in the villages of Hirimbapur, Nanke Daranga, Parkijuli, and Sashipur has not received any help from the government, says Latashri Jwhwlao and Mohini Swargiary, President and Secretary, respectively of Hirimbapur Danai Lunai Samabay Samiti (HDLSS).

They say that the cottage industry of Hirimbapur uses traditional handloom equipments and is registered with the Sericulture Department of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

In spite of indifferent attitude of the government, these weavers are hoping to become as popular as Sualkuchi, the garment town of Assam famous for muga and paat garments.

According to Satish Jwhwlao, a leading social worker of the area, the idea of starting a weaving industry was the brainchild of Mohini Swargiary, the present Secretary of HDLSS. The industry was started when there was no alternative occupation for the local people, who are now inspired to take their cottage industry to the level of Sualkuchi.

Mr. Jwhwlao added that at times, it becomes difficult for the weavers to meet the increasing demand for garments, owing to lack of drum, bobbin machine, jacker, and other modern equipments. However, the weavers are expected to soon get these equipments from Baksa Hastatat Unnayan Samiti, an NGO.

HDLSS has submitted a project for development of garment weaving and have received encouragement from Sansuma Khungur Bwisumuthiary, Lok Sabha MP and Banamali Boro, EM, Handloom and Textile, BTC.

Besides at local places like Baganpara, Kikrajhar, Mushalpur, Subankhata, and Tamulpur, the HDLSS has also participated in a number of handloom expos at Delhi and Mumbai. It has also participated in handloom expos held in Phunsilling and Thimpu.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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