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Project 'Odissi' to rescue traditional handloom weavers

Feb '07

To upgrade skill of traditional handloom weavers through technology upgradation for higher productivity and income generation, the Orissa Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) has launched a special project 'Odissi.'

The special project will cost Rs15 crore and has been approved by Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under Ministry of Textiles.

This project will target 5,000 families in Cuttack, Jajpur, Ganjam, Boudh and Sonepur districts with aims to diversify products by making available appropriate technology, common facility centre for weavers, developing design and providing market linkage for their products.

Handloom cloths having artistic border and design created in Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sonepur, Berhampur and Nuapatna in Cuttack district are world famous but weavers continue to be poor as they follow traditional methods.

About four lakh weavers of the State still depend on traditional looms which makes their products uncompetitive and also un-remunerative compared to other States, particularly Tamil Nadu.

The project Odissi will target weaver families introducing modern technology and training them in a common facility centre teaching them design development and diversify product keeping in mind market demands, official sources said.

Five clusters have been identified at Nuapatna, Gopalpur (both in Cuttack district), Berhampur, Boudh and Sambalpur for launching the special project ORMAS.

Common facility centre will update weavers on technical progress in handloom sector and educate them about benefits of adopting modern technology.

Around 40 weavers each from Boudh and Sonepur visited Salem in Tamil Nadu, to learn about the technology used by weavers for producing famous handloom products.

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