Chennai: Eye catching advertisements and changing tastes of women and men, who wear churidhars and pants instead of traditional sarees and dhotis, was posing challenges to the handloom sector in Tamil Nadu, Handlooms and Textiles Minister O S Manian said Friday.
"To weave a silk saree, a handloom weaver spends 30 hours in the loom, putting in enormous physical labour and ensures quality as well," he said in the assembly.
Citing challenges,he referred to attractive advertisements like "two, three sarees free if one was bought" and changing tastes of women who migrate to churidar from sarees and men to trousers and pants from dhoti.
Winding up the discussion on the demands for grants to his department in the assembly, he dwelt on several government schemes to aid Tamil Nadu's weavers like a Rs 40 crore support plan, a rebate subsidy scheme and free electricity to them.
The Cost Free Dhoti and Saree Scheme ensured continuous employment to 14,000 handloom and 54,000 powerloom weavers, besides fulfilling the clothing needs of approximately three crore people in both rural and urban regions, he said.
For free dhoti, saree distribution for Pongal next year (2020), Rs 490.20 crore has been allocated, he pointed out. Also,under the free supply of uniform to school students, Rs 279 crore worth of such cloth material was produced by weaver cooperative socieities (for the last academic year) and supplied to government for distribution to school children.
The minister said Rs 327.44 crore has been earmarked for the uniform distribution plan this year. Citing the challenges before the sector, he said they have to tackle them and win. The minister referred to technology interventions being undertaken like "cloth tech, and geo (geographical) tech," to face such challenges.
Also, LED based advertisement panels would be put up for the State-run Cooptex and five of its showrooms would be modernised, he said. He also doubled the cash reward for new designs for weavers to Rs 10,000, Rs 6,000 and Rs 4,000 (from Rs 5,000, Rs.3,000, Rs 2,000).
On the Weaver Mudra Scheme, he said "it is placed on record that Tamil Nadu is continuously holding the number one position in the country in the last three years (2016-17 to 2018-19) in implementation of the scheme."...