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Handloom provides employment to women weavers

Jan '07
Master weaver P Gopinathan took initiative to set up handlooms in a Kerala village some 30 years ago with Government rebate for handloom fabrics and Khadi and Village Industries Board grants being the only support for his endeavour.

He organised women workers by forming a mahila samajam offering his small plot for looms to be set and taught them weaving.

After the first unit's production started satisfactorily he built a loom cluster on top of a hillock at Manjavilakom village about 30km from Thiruvananthapuram city.

Presently in a sprawling 10 acre area 1,500 women work in 600-odd looms.

Gopinathan was awarded a Padma Shri for the success story that he created.

The Malayalee's favorite mundu, the traditional Kerala sarees with borders and bed sheets are being produced and each weaver earning an average of Rs125 per day.

Gopinathan has also established the Gandhi Smaraka Technical School for SC/ST girls, teaching them tailoring, embroidery and needlework.

He wants Government to set up a general school for imparting training in weaving as many weavers who had left samajams after marriage were unable to set up their own looms due to shortage of trained weavers.

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