Handloom weavers to benefit from blanket production centre

September 23, 2009 - India

The Karnataka State Handloom Weavers’ (Non-Khadi) Cooperative Associations’ Federation will establish a Barrack Blanket Production Centre at Goralakatte village of Challakere taluk. The blankets to be manufactured in this centre will be supplied to the defense personnel.

To supply these blankets, the Federation has signed an agreement with the Association of Corporation and Apex Societies of Handloom (ACASH), New Delhi, which is an apex agency working under the Union Ministry of Textiles to promote handloom and textile industry.

Every year, the Federation will supply at least 100,000 blankets to the ACASH, which will provide those to the military, railways, Government-run hospitals and police, said Mr. M. Patalingappa, District Secretary of the Federation. Defense Ministry requires around 300,000 blankets every year, which it procures from North Indian States.

The Federation which has been set up, by pooling together about 40 district handloom associations two years ago aims to revive the handloom industry of the district as well as to provide better remuneration to the weavers, who are gradually quitting their ancestral occupation due to improper marketing facility and increasing production costs.

In a bid to tackle all these issues, the Federation has decided to set up the blanket production centre in Challakere. The Federation has chalked out a project plan of Rs. 10 million for this, which will house a production unit, a training centre and a large warehouse.

The Association and the Federation would invest Rs. 2.5 million and Rs. 1.5 million respectively in the project, while rest of the funds would be provided by the government, informed Mr. Patalingappa. Two acres of land has already been purchased for the project, while the required machinery and equipments are being purchased.

To manufacture barrack blankets, around 80 percent of wool would be obtained from the district and the rest would be procured from North India.

There are around 15,000 weavers in the district, which has an annual turnover of around Rs. 10 million. In the retail markets, cost of each blanket ranges between Rs. 250 and Rs. 2,500.

Earning of the weavers in district will increase by at least Rs.100 a day after commencement of the centre, said Mr. Patalingappa. Currently the weavers earn Rs. 50 per day.