Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Handlooms Status in India
India, once known for its excellence in fabric weaving and related artistry suffered major setback during British regime. Every region, being characterized by its own style of handloom woven fabric, offer different type of fabrics based on design and yarn type. Cheap, imported, machine-made, artificial yarns and fabrics led to continuous downfall of Indian handloom industry. Rapidly depleting conditions of industry and changing customer preference led to weavers search for alternative employment opportunities.
Handlooms are important for India both culturally and economically. However, despite many efforts, the condition of industry and weavers is sliding only. As per Handloom Census 2009-10, most of the handloom households live in kutcha (54%) or semi-pucca (31%) houses. Average annual income for handloom households in purely commercial production is estimated to be Rs 30,747. Census also indicates that there are nearly 27.83 lakh handloom households in India with highest in North-east states. The total weaver household units recorded a decline from the first (29.9 lakh weaver households), to the second (25.3 lakh weaver households) and the third (22.6 lakh weaver households) handloom Census, indicating that the sector has exhibited a declining trend for over the two decades.
This census is a wake-up call to stop India from losing its one of its most admired heritage: its handloom products. In the global market, serving all machine made look-alike product, the handloom products can create marked difference and make one “stand out of world”.