- 1 When is National Handloom Day
- 2 Major Changes in Government Policy Over the Year:
- 3 Challenges Faced by Indian Handloom Sector
When is National Handloom Day
|National Handloom Day||National Handloom Day Date||National Handloom Day Year|
National Handloom Day in India is celebrated on August 7, the day when the Swadeshi Movement began in Bengal in 1907 to boycott foreign goods and rely on Indian-made goods. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first National Handloom Day to appreciate the efforts of weavers and handwoven goods across the country. India has a diverse range of different handloom products which are spread across the entire country.
Indian weavers were one of the most oppressed groups during the British Raj since they were in direct competition to the goods produced in Manchester. Everyone knows about the quality associated with handwoven clothes found across India.
Whether it be Kanchipuram Sarees found in South India or Assam’s Muga Mekhela Sadors (golden silk), Banarasi Silk of Uttar Pradesh or Paithani weaves of Maharashtra, Bhagalpuri Silk found in Bihar or the famous embroidery found in Kashmir. India has a blooming history of handloom and it may come as a surprise to you but weavers and the handloom sector was one of the pivotal elements of our Independence struggle.
India has one of the largest and most widespread handloom sectors in the entire world. Buying products of handloom provides a sense of pride to each customer as even today, high-quality handloom products are considered royalty. The National Handloom Day is celebrated each year and involves many seminars and fairs which are completely based on making handloom products more mainstream in the younger audience.
National Handloom Day even involves different state governments providing weavers with cash prizes and incentives for flourishing the dying handloom industry in India. National Handloom Day 2022 will also involve similar events as before and the new #vocal4local movements launched by our Prime Minister should propel this beautiful craft to new heights.
National Handloom Day 2022:
2022 will mark the 8th edition of National Handloom Day. Like every other year, the focus will again be on extending the income of weavers in India. Due to the prevailing conditions which have arisen due to the spread of COVID-19 this year the focus will be on increasing sales of handloom products on e-commerce websites.
Also, the aim of every citizen on this day should be to show a united front in support of handloom weavers who suffer from a variety of problems and assist them in increasing their income and making handloom products more popular.The best way for anyone to celebrate National Handloom Day is to purchase more handloom products and encourage other people to do the same.
National Handloom Day India
History and Significance
Handloom in India is one of the most important sectors for producing products out of pure fabrics of cotton, silk, and wool. The significance of handloom in India goes back centuries. Handloom was used as a symbol of patriotism and loyalty of any citizen in the fight for freedom. Handloom weavers were attacked frequently during the British Raj.
After the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, British soldiers targeted weaving villages spread densely around Bengal and the states of Andhra. The sole reason behind these attacks was to promote the use of British manufactured cloths.
There were even instances where the fingers of weavers were cut so they couldn’t weave ever again. Such activities forced the handloom workers into back alleys and remote areas of towns. It was a dark time in the history of the Indian weaving sector.
But on 7 August, many prominent freedom fighters launched the Swadeshi Movement in the Calcutta Corridor and handloom became an important force in our freedom struggle ever since.
Hence, National Handloom Day in India is a very significant day for our country which promotes the use of goods produced by small-scale Indian weavers.
Major Changes in Government Policy Over the Year:
To efficiently promote India’s handloom sector and provide better help to the Indian weavers, many new changes were made last year on National Handloom Day.
1.Discontinuance of handloom, power loom, wool, silk, and jute boards:
The ministry of textiles announced the termination of individual boards present in the handloom sector. The idea behind this was to minimize government and maximize governance. The move aims at more rational and leaner government machinery. Many experts claimed that these bodies had become centers of political patronage and provided no actual help to weavers.
2.Creation of Handloom Portal:
Last year, a handloom portal was launched on National Handloom Day, the launch was accompanied by a social media campaign that intended to increase handloom popularity in the newer generation. A virtual fair was also held under the guidance of the Handloom Export Council which connected over 150 participants spread across the country.
The fair was held for these participants to show their respective skills and handloom products which could be directly purchased by the community.
3.COVID-19 Support Fund:
The Fashion Design Council of India started a new fund for supporting upcoming designers in the country. The fund aims to buy merchandise from weavers, which will then be used to make attractive masks and other products. The idea behind this fund is to clear the unsold handloom stock present with the weavers. This will help the weaving community to earn more and better support their livelihood.
4.Atma Nirbhar Bharat:
PM Modi also insisted the citizens of our country to strengthen their efforts in support of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat by supporting weavers. Textile Minister Smriti Irani also urged people to buy products that are handmade and produced inside India. She said that by supporting the handloom sector, the people will participate in Atma Bharat mission.
Challenges Faced by Indian Handloom Sector
Even after the launch of #vocal4local movement launched by the Prime Minister, the handloom sector of India is still suffering due to many reasons.
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The most important component of weaving is the raw material used by the weavers. The All India Handloom Census states that 59.5 percent of the weaving population requires support in raw material. The costs of all the fabrics have risen and the supply is choked up by large industrial units who purchase fabrics at a very large scale in comparison to small-scale weavers.
This problem cuts down the profit margin for weavers and makes the handloom sector a hard profession to make a living in.
Due to more and more people moving from villages to towns, the traditional workers and artisans including weavers have become much less in number. Most of the traditional families have now chosen to live in urban areas. The reason for this is the better infrastructure of education, better facilities and much more. Due to this the number of people involved in weaving has become much less than what it was a few decades ago.
The number of families involved in the handloom sector has dropped down to 27 lakhs in 2020 from 66 lakh in 1996. This proves that the handloom sector in India is suffering from low production too.
3. Lack of Modern Infrastructure:
Indian weavers suffer a lot due to poor infrastructure which includes outdated looms and inaccessibility to markets. Many NGOs and other organizations are working to help the weaver’s access markets but the sector requires an even playing field for small and large weavers in access to markets.
There are at least thirteen government schemes to help improve the condition of weavers but only 3.5% of the weavers are aware of such facilities. These include a weaver health insurance, a low-interest credit scheme, and subsidies on the production of handmade products.
The handloom sector of India requires greater awareness among weavers, accessibility to markets and investment in R&D to improve the production process. There is also a need of better credit support and excitement among the normal working-class people to buy handmade products.
Why You Should Buy Handmade Clothes:
Every year on August 7, many exhibits and fairs are organized by local, state and national level authorities to promote handmade products on National Handloom Day India.
Tired of going to the same malls and looking at similar mass-produced clothes and wearing the same clothes that everyone around you wears, maybe you should go and explore a handloom fair. Handloom fairs are held in almost all the cities around the country and you could purchase a handmade cloth that will be much more vibrant and made of much better material than what your peers wear.
Have a desire to change your look and try the traditional look, try purchasing Kanchipuram saris or Benaras sarees which add a different flair to your wardrobe. Even if you just want a comfortable piece of clothing, you can try handmade clothes which are weaved out of natural fabrics and allow in a lot more air and make you feel comfier.
Another advantage of wearing handmade cloth is that you will not be held guilty of harming the environment since these clothes are not produced in big textile factories which often let out harmful wastes into water bodies. Using products of the handloom sector also provides you with a sense of patriotism since its use was promoted by the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi himself.
Buying handmade clothes and supporting small-scale weavers go a long way in helping this dying sector in India which still supports the livelihood of a lot of people. Purchasing products of local weavers are also a sign that you are loyal to your country and are supporting the Atma Nirbhar Bharat mission.
Buying handmade clothes on National Handloom Day is not enough, you should also try to create a regular habit of buying clothes from weavers to support them.
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What to Do on National Handloom Day:
National Handloom Day is just a few months ago and this year you can do any of the following things:
1.Visit Handicraft Fairs:
One of the best ways to spend your time on National Handloom Day 2022 will be to go to any handloom or handicraft fair happening within your city or attend an online event occurring on the subject of handlooms. These fairs often show a variety of different handloom products which you can purchase. Often, handmade products have the use of much more vibrant colors than mass-produced clothes.
2.Support a Local Weaver:
You can also do some philanthropic work and try to support a local weaver in procuring raw material and gaining access to the markets. Often, most local weavers lack the capital required to sell their products on a larger scale. So, you can probably help any weaver by donating a small amount of money so that they can reach the prime markets.
3.Spread Awareness About Indian Handloom:
Everyone who has a social media presence can spread awareness on any topic. On National Handloom Day, you can spread awareness about the different handmade clothing products available in India. You can also make people aware of the importance of handlooms and how it is better to use handloom products than factory-made clothes.
Hence, on National Handloom Day 2022, you should try to embrace the products made inside India by the Indian workers and weavers.
Handloom Day is meant for the appreciation of the Indian Handloom Sector and the people associated with it. Since handmade clothes are often not much expensive, everyone should buy them more often. What Indian weavers really require is the support of the people and the government. By buying even a small amount of handmade goods.