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PM addresses National Handloom Day Celebration in New Delhi » Bhajpa Ki Baat

PM addresses National Handloom Day Celebration in New Delhi » Kamal Sandesh

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the National Handloom Day Celebration at Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi today and launched the e-portal ‘Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh – A Repository of Textiles & Crafts’ developed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology. The Prime Minister also visited the exhibition showcased on the occasion and interacted with the weavers.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled how the exhibitors used to showcase their products in a tent in an exhibition held in Pragati Maidan before the inauguration ceremony of Bharat Mandapam took place. In the magnificence of Bharat Mandapam, the Prime Minister highlighted the contribution of the handloom industry of India and said that the confluence of old and new defines the new India of today. “The India of today is not just ‘Vocal for Local’ but also providing a global platform to take it to the world”, he said. Throwing light on his conversations with the weavers before the start of today’s program, the Prime Minister noted the presence of various handloom clusters from across the country in today’s grand celebrations and welcomed them.

“August is the month of ‘Kranti’”, the Prime Minister remarked. He underlined that this is the time to remember every sacrifice that was made for India’s independence. Highlighting the Swadeshi Movement, the Prime Minister said that it was not only limited to boycotting foreign-made textiles but a source of inspiration for the independent economy of India. He said that it was a movement to connect the weavers of India with the people, and this was the inspiration behind the government choosing this day as National Handloom Day. In the last few years, the Prime Minister underlined that unprecedented work has been done for the expansion of the handloom industry as well as the weavers. “There is a new revolution in the country about Swadeshi”, Shri Modi remarked. He expressed pride in the success of India through the achievements of its weavers.

The Prime Minister emphasized that one’s identity is related to the clothes they wear and highlighted the diverse clothing that can be seen on the occasion. He said that it is also an occasion to celebrate India’s diversity through the clothes of different regions. “India possesses a beautiful rainbow of clothing”, the Prime Minister said as he observed the diversity in clothing ranging from the tribal communities in far-fetched areas to people living in the snow-clad mountains, and from people in the coastal regions to those living in the desert as well as the clothing available in the markets of India. He recalled urging the need to enlist and compile the diverse clothing of India and expressed delight that it has come to fruition today with the launch of ‘Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh’.

Noting that India’s textile industry was well-founded in the past centuries, the Prime Minister lamented that no concrete efforts were made to strengthen it after independence. “Even Khadi was left in a moribund state”, he said, adding that those wearing Khadi were looked down upon. After 2014, the Prime Minister said, the government is striving to change this circumstance and the thinking behind it. The Prime Minister recalled urging the citizens to buy Khadi products during the early phase of the Mann Ki Baat program which resulted in more than a 3 fold rise in the production of Khadi in the last 9 years. He also noted that the sale of Khadi clothes has increased by 5 times and its demand in foreign nations is also increasing. Shri Modi also recalled meeting the CEO of a huge fashion brand during his visit to Paris who informed him about the growing attraction towards Khadi and Indian handloom.

The Prime Minister informed that the turnover of Khadi and village industries was only around Rs 25-30 thousand crores nine years ago. but today it has reached more than one lakh thirty thousand crore rupees. He mentioned that the additional Rs 1 lakh crore has reached those associated with the handloom sector in the villages and the tribals. The Prime Minister cited the Niti Aayog Report which states that 13.5 crore have come out of poverty in the last 5 years and acknowledged the contribution of the growing turnover for the same. “With the spirit of Vocal for Local, the citizens are buying indigenous products wholeheartedly and it has become a mass movement”, Shri Modi said. He also reiterated the need to repeat the Swadeshi resolution to support the weavers and handicraftsmen in the upcoming festivities of Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Utsav, Dussehra and Deepavali.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the schemes implemented for the textile sector are becoming a major means of social justice as he pointed out that lakhs of people are engaged in handloom work in villages and towns across the country. Noting that most of these people come from dalit, backward, pasmanda and tribal societies, the Prime Minister said that the efforts of the government have led to an increase in employment in large numbers along with a boost to income. He gave examples of schemes for electricity, water, gas connection, Swacch Bharat and said that they have received the maximum benefits from such campaigns. “Free ration, pucca house, free treatment up to Rs.5 lakh, this is Modi’s guarantee”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined that the present government has put an end to the decades-long wait of the weaver community for basic amenities.

The Prime Minister emphasized the government not only strives to keep the traditions associated with the textile sector alive but also attract the world in a new avatar. That’s why, the Prime Minister said, the government is emphasizing the education, training and income of those associated with this work and giving wings to the aspirations of the children of weavers and handicraftsmen. He mentioned a scholarship up to Rs 2 lakh in textile institutes for skill training of the children of weavers. Shri Modi informed that more than 600 handloom clusters have been developed in the last 9 years and thousands of weavers have been trained. “It is the constant endeavor of the government to make the weavers’ work easier, increase their productivity and improve the quality and designs. He also mentioned that computer-operated punching machines are also being provided to them which enables the creation of new designs at a fast pace. “Warp-making is also becoming easier with motorized machines. Many such equipment, many such machines are being made available to the weavers”, he said. He also mentioned that the government is providing raw materials like yarn to handloom weavers at concessional rates and also bearing the cost of transporting the raw material. The Prime Minister also touched upon the Mudra Yojana and said that it has now become possible for weavers to get loans without guarantee.

The Prime Minister recalled his association with the weavers of Gujarat and also highlighted the contributions of the handloom industry of the entire Kashi region which is his constituency. He pointed out the challenges of supply chain and marketing faced by the weavers in selling their products and mentioned that the government is giving emphasis on the marketing of handmade products by organizing exhibitions throughout the country just like Bharat Mandapam. Shri Modi informed that a daily allowance is also provided along with a free stall. The Prime Minister also appreciated the startups and the youth of India that have brought innovation in techniques and patterns as well as marketing practices for products made by cottage industries and handlooms and said that one can witness its bright future. Speaking about ‘One District One Product’ scheme, the Prime Minister said that special products from every district are being promoted. “Special stalls are also being set up at railway stations of the country for the sale of such products”, he said. He also mentioned the upcoming Ekta Mall being developed in every capital city of the states by the government to promote handicrafts and products made from handlooms from every state and district under one roof which will benefit those associated with the handloom sector. Shri Modi also touched upon the Ekta Mall at the Statue of Unity which gives an opportunity for the tourists to experience the unity of India and buy products from any state under a single roof.

Speaking about the various gifts that the Prime Minister presents to the dignitaries during his visits abroad, he said that it is not only appreciated by them but also creates a deep impact when they find out about those who manufacture it.

Speaking about the GeM Portal or Government e-Marketplace, the Prime Minister said that even the smallest artisan, craftsman, or weaver can sell their goods directly to the government and informed that about 1.75 lakh organizations related to handloom and handicrafts are linked to the GeM portal today. “Efforts are on to ensure that our brothers and sisters in the handloom sector get the benefits of Digital India”, he added.

“The government is working with a clear strategy to provide the world’s biggest market to its weavers”, the Prime Minister remarked. He said that huge companies of the world are coming forward to take the products of India’s MSMEs, weavers, artisans and farmers to the markets across the world. He threw light on the direct discussions with the leaders of several such companies who have big stores, retail supply chains, online presence and shops all over the world. He mentioned that such companies have now resolved to take the local products of India to every nook and corner of the globe. “Be it millets or handloom products, these big international companies will take them to the markets across the world”, he said. He emphasized that the products will be made in India and the supply chain will be used by these multinational companies.

Directing his address to those associated with the textile industry and fashion world, the Prime Minister stressed the need to increase the scope of our thinking and work apart from the steps taken to become one of the top-3 economies of the world. He underlined that ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort) will be required to make India’s handloom, Khadi and the textile sector as the world champions. “Be it a worker, a weaver, a designer or an industry, everyone will have to make dedicated efforts”, he said. He also stressed the need to connect the skill of the weavers with the scale and technology. Throwing light on the rise of a neo-middle class in India, the Prime Minister observed that a huge young consumer class is being formed for every product and it presents a huge opportunity for textile companies. Therefore, the Prime Minister said, it is also the responsibility of these companies to strengthen the local supply chain and invest in it. He denounced the approach of importing textiles if ready-made clothes are available outside India. He emphasized investing in the local supply chain and preparing it for the future and said that the big players in the sector must not make excuses as to how it will happen with such short notice. “If we want to take advantage in the future, then we have to invest in local supply chain today. This is the way to build a developed India and realize the dream of a 5 trillion dollar economy”, he said. He further added that the Swadeshi dream of our freedom fighters will be achieved only by following this path. “Those who weave the dreams of an Atmanirbhar Bharat and provide strength to ‘Make in India’ consider Khadi to be not just clothing but a weapon”, the Prime Minister exclaimed.

Speaking about the relevance of the 9th of August, the Prime Minister said that the date has been a witness to the biggest movement of India – the Quit India movement under the leadership of Pujya Mahatma Gandhi who sent the message of Quit India to the British. Shortly after this, the Prime Minister said, the British had to leave India. The Prime Minister underlined the need of the hour today as the country moves forward with willpower. He said that the same mantra can be used which was once used to drive out the British and chase away such elements that have become an obstacle as the nation resolves to build a ‘Viksit Bharat’ or developed India. “Entire India is echoing in one voice –  corruption, dynasty, appeasement must Quit India”, Shri Modi exclaimed. He underlined that these evils in India are a big challenge for the country and expressed confidence that the nation will defeat these evils. “The country will be victorious, the people of India will be victorious”, he added.

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister threw light on his interaction with the women who have dedicated themselves to weaving the Tricolour for years. He urged the citizens to hoist the Tricolour and celebrate the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ once again. “When the Tricolour is hoisted on the roofs, it also unfurls within ourselves”, the Prime Minister concluded.

Union Minister of Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Textiles, Smt Darshana Jardosh and Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Narayan Tatu Rane were present on the occasion among others.

Background

The Prime Minister has always been a firm proponent of giving encouragement and policy support to the artisans and craftsmen who are keeping alive the country’s rich tradition of artistry and craftsmanship. Guided by this vision, the government started celebrating National Handloom Day with the first such celebration being held on 7th August 2015. The date was specifically chosen as an ode to the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on 7th August 1905 and encouraged indigenous industries, particularly handloom weavers.

This year, the 9th National Handloom Day is being celebrated. During the programme, the Prime Minister launched the e-portal of Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh – a Repository of Textiles & Crafts that has been developed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).

The programme will be attended by over 3000 handloom and khadi weavers, artisans and stakeholders from the textile & MSME sectors. It will bring together handloom clusters across India, NIFT campuses, Weaver Service Centres, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology campuses, National Handloom Development Corporation, Handloom Export Promotion Council, KVIC institutions and various State Handloom Departments.

(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Bhajpa Ki Baat staff and is published from a kamal sandesh feed.)

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