National Handloom Day

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    • Every year August 7 is observed as the National Handloom Day in India to highlight the contribution of the handloom industry in socio-economic development and create awareness about the sector.

    History

    • Swadeshi Movement
      • The handloom sector played an important role during the Swadeshi Movement, which was launched as part of the Indian independence movement, on August 7, 1905.
    • Boost Domestic production
      • The movement was started to curb dependency on foreign goods and to boost domestic production.
    • Khadi:
      • The movement started production of khadi in almost every household
      • When at the stroke of the midnight hour India got independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the Indian flag made of khadi at Princess Park near India Gate.

     

    About National Handloom Day

    • Ministry:  
      • The National Handloom Day is celebrated across the country under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles.
    • Largest economic sectors
      • The handloom sector is one of the largest economic sectors in the country.

    Facts/ Data

    • According to the Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), the handloom exports from India fell from 2,353.33 crore in 2015-16, to 2,245.33 crore in 2019-20.

    Problems in the industry

    • The lack of effective policy support 
      • Combined with the fragmented nature of the sector has given rise to many problems.
    • Weaver and supply chain problems
      • Most of the problems concerning the sector can be broadly categorised into weaver and supply chain problems.
    • Lack of financial viability
      • According to the Handloom Census, approximately 67 per cent of the weavers still earn less than 5,000 a month, which is less than the amount that an unskilled worker earns as per the minimum wage rule.
    • Handing the tradition over
      • Existing weavers are not showing an interest in handing the tradition over to their next generations.
    • Indirect sources of credit
      • Most of the weavers depend on indirect sources of credit with high rates of interest. This is due to the low penetration of banking facilities among the weaver community.
    • Fewer profits
      • The price fluctuations in the open market eat up the profit margins of the weavers.

    Significance of the sector 

    • Women empowerment
      • Apart from being a significant employment source in rural areas, the handloom sector is also a key player in the field of women empowerment as roughly 70 percent of all weavers and allied workers are women.
    • Exports
      • The Indian handloom sector exports its products to more than 20 countries across the globe, including the USA, the UK, Germany, France, and South Africa.
    • Handloom weaving community
      • The National Handloom Day is celebrated to honour the handloom weaving community and to highlight the contribution of the community in various sectors of the country, including rural employment.
    • Protection of India’s rich handloom heritage
      • The day also stands for the protection of India’s rich handloom heritage and to empower the handloom community with bigger and better opportunities.

    Nethanna Bima scheme

    • Telangana launched the Nethanna Bima scheme and extended greetings to the weavers on the occasion of National Handloom Day.
    • It is a one-of-its-kind scheme for weavers that has been introduced in the country and nearly 80,000 weavers’ families will be benefited through this insurance plan.
    • This scheme will provide 5 lakh insurance cover to the weavers’ families in case of the unfortunate demise of an eligible beneficiary.
      • It will provide economic assurance to handloom and power loom weaver families.
    • Telangana government has joined hands with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India for the ‘Nethanna Beema’ scheme and termed the state department of handlooms and textiles as the nodal agency for its implementation.

    Steps taken by the Government in this sector

    • GeM portal
      • Emphasis should be on onboarding of Handloom Weavers and Handicraft artisans on GeM portal in large numbers.
    • Promoting Handloom Products
      • Making it incumbent upon all Govt. Departments purchase Handloom Products for all their textile needs.
    • Exhibition
      • The Minister of Textiles organised a large scale exhibition involving all awardees of Handlooms and Handicraft since inception of the awards to celebrate their achievement, and inspire others to emulate them.
    • Prime Minister as the biggest Brand Ambassador
      • Prime Minister is the biggest Brand Ambassador of Art and Crafts made in India, and always prefers gifting Handloom and Handicraft items to dignitaries during his foreign visits.
    • Har Ghar Tiranga campaign
      • The Minister of Textiles appealed to all to participate in the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, a campaign to mark the 75th year of India’s independence through Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
    • Design Resource Centres
      • Five Design Resource Centres at Indore, Kolkata, Nagpur, Meerut and Panipat were inaugurated.
    • Sant Kabir and National handloom Awards
      • On the occasion, 82 Sant Kabir and National handloom Awards were given away.

    Schemes related to Handlooms

    • National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP)
      • NHDP has been formulated for its implementation during the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
      • The scheme will follow a need-based approach for integrated and holistic development of handlooms and welfare of handloom weavers. 
    • The Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS)
      • The Yarn Supply Scheme (YSS) with partial modification and renamed as Raw Material Supply Scheme (RMSS) has been approved for implementation during the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
      • To make available quality yarn & their blends to the eligible Handloom weavers at subsidized rates. 
    • Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme
      • It is providing Life, accidental and disability insurance coverage to handloom weavers/workers under the components Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana(PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana(PMSBY) and Converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana(MGBBY).
    • Weaver MUDRA Scheme
      • Under the Weavers’ Mudra Scheme, credit at concessional interest rate of 6% is provided to the handloom weavers.  
    • Urban Haat
      • These are set up in the big towns/metropolitan cities to provide adequate direct marketing facilities to the craft persons/weavers and eliminate middle agencies.  38 such Urban Haats have been sanctioned across the country so far.
    • Design & Technology upgradation (DTU)
      • The Scheme aims to upgrade artisan’s skills through development of innovative designs and prototyping products for overseas markets, revival of endangered crafts and preservation of heritage etc.

    Way forward/ Suggestions 

    • Census data of Handlooms
      • There is a need to put the Census data of Handlooms of over 35 lakh handloom workers in public domain for transparency and validation so that the benefits of handloom schemes reach the genuine beneficiaries.
    • Technology
      • The need for quality, consistency and need for selective use of technology to reduce drudgery without compromising the basic character of Handlooms.
    • Improving weavers’ awareness of the finance and sales processes 
      • Also setting up handloom institutes in every handloom town.
    • Network of weavers
      • An efficient central network is necessary for disseminating important information to the weavers.
    • Transparency and awareness of business processes
      • The weavers’ awareness of the finance and sales processes must be improved.
    • Flow of information between weaver and consumer
      • Weavers should possess information about the market for their products.

    Source: PIB