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Odisha demands fresh enumeration of state weavers

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 24:

Odisha’s minister of Handloom and Textiles Snehangini Chhuria today sought financial assistance from the Centre for the inclusive growth in the handloom and textiles sector in the state and economic uplift of the weavers’ community.

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Addressing the annual conference of state Handloom and Textiles ministers in New Delhi, Chhuria demanded fresh and detailed enumeration of weavers in Odisha, construction of a tussar hub at Gopalpur village in Jajpur district which is famous for tussar silk garments, grant of model handloom cluster and tourism status to Nuapatna-Maniabandh tussar hub in Cuttack district and opening of mega retail outlets in 10 metro cities for sale of Ikat silk garments of Odisha that have a huge demand in the country.

Besides, she also demanded earlier approval of a full-fledged project report of the state government on setting up of an incubation centre in the state.

“Though Odisha is one of the largest manufacturers of handloom items in the country, the state does not have a mega handloom cluster till date,” the minister said requesting the Centre for more financial assistance to provide advance training and capacity building of the state weavers.

There are nearly 1.90 lakh weavers and 1.30 lakh handicraft artisans in Odisha, she added.

Stating that the state government, despite its limited resources, had made constant efforts for the overall development of the weavers, artisans and silk farmers’ community, Chhuria said the chief minister had recently announced a special package for them.

“Apart from this, the state government has given 10 acres of land to the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Bhubaneswar free of cost and provided Rs 58 crore for its infrastructure development,” she said, adding that the NIFT and the state government are working together for the development of new modesl for the handloom and handicraft sector.

Taking note of the huge demand for handloom products from the state in the country, the state government has implemented a new scheme— Design Reference Collection of Odisha Handloom—through the Primary Weavers’ Cooperative Society of Sambalpuri Bastralaya in which 167 designs of special handloom products with varied colours prepared by renowned designers have been widely appreciated, the minister informed.

Among others, Union Handloom and Textiles minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Handloom and Textiles secretary Dr Sanjay Kumar Panda, state Handloom and Textiles secretary Chitra Arumugam, ministers and concerned secretaries of other states and senior officials of the Central government attended the conference.