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Indian Handloom Industry is an ancient cottage industry of India with a decentralized set up. This industry is a source of livelihood for millions of people and contributes a major part towards employment. The tradition of making handicrafts and weaving by hand constitutes one of the richest and vibrant aspects of the Indian cultural heritage. This sector is one of the largest unorganized sector after agriculture having being an advantages of less capital intensive, minimal use of power, eco-friendly, adaptability to market requirements etc. But at the same time, this industry is facing multifarious problems that some other industries did not face. The government of India also acting toward the development and improvement of its productivity and marketing, still weavers are facing livelihood crisis.
In today? scenario handloom production is the second largest employment activity after Agriculture and its contribution is around 14% share of the total production of Textile Industry. As per 3rd Handloom Census carried out in 2009-10 more than 43 lakhs people were engaged in weaving and allied activities which were 65.5 lakhs as per 2nd Handloom Census conducted in 1995-96. The Handloom sector is not only our past glory but also it plays a vital role even in the context of Present Indian Economy. Over125 countries are now buying handloom products from India
The handloom industry has deep roots in the rich traditional, historical and cultural diversity of India which makes it unique in the world This industry has innumerable items to offer to almost every section of the society. Handloom products are produced in different states of the country. “ Some of the
popular varieties are,riba,multa,munga silks of Assam, bedspreads and furnishing of Bihar, check shirting and bed sheets of Delhi, tie and dye cotton and silk saris of Odisha, cotton weft saris of Maharashtra, chiffon saris, dress materials of Karnataka, durries, carpets and muslin fabrics of Uttar Pradesh etc.”.Handloom, being a state subject, its development is primarily the responsibility the State Governments. The Central Government through various developmental schemes and interventions plays the role of supplementing the efforts of state governments from time to time.
PROBLEMS FACED BY THE INDIAN HANDLOOM INDUSTRY:
The present age of modernization and globalization has posed a number of challenges for the handloom industry in India. The issues of concern to this industry are discussed below.
1. Rising input costs:
The prices of yarn, dyes, chemicals and other inputs have increased sharply in the recent period. This has resulted into cost disadvantage to the weavers. In spite of more than 700 yarn depots being operated in the country; the weavers are not able to obtain the necessary inputs at reasonable prices. The problem is more acute for the individual weavers who need small quantities of yarn and chemicals. This situation is affecting the level of output in the handloom industry.
2. Credit problem:
The poor financial condition and independent functioning of weavers has made it difficult to obtain credit from the institutional sources. Hence they have to depend on the mercy of private money lenders, and their exploitation continues. In many cases the weavers have to divert the loan amount towards
consumption needs. The lack of rudimentary financial literacy further aggravates the problem.
3. Marketing bottlenecks:
The largely unorganized handloom industry suffers from a number of marketing problems due to poor financial and managerial resources. There is no easy availability of handloom products in tier-II and tier-III towns. The prices are also high and not within the reach of common people. There is also problem of genuineness of the products available in the handloom emporiums. The problem of stiffness and limited designs also adds to the marketing difficulties.. Foreign markets remain under exploited due to the limited
access and funds.
4. Lack of modernization:
The handloom industry has been using age old technology and looms. These results into low productivity and high cost. Again the continuous and repetitive movements of production process adversely affect the health of weavers in various ways such body pain, pulmonary problems, chronic bronchitis, decrease in hand-grip strength and eye-strain.
5. Migration to other fields:
Due to the lower income and instable work the younger generation of weavers has been migrating to other occupations. This has reduced the weaver community.
6. Poor infrastructure:
Since “handloom” manufacturing is carried on in the houses of weavers spread over a vast geographical area, it lacks the necessary infrastructure which is available in industrial estates. There are no separate sheds, water and power supply, technology support effluent treatment plants and waste
management arrangements. The poor infrastructure affects the productivity, quality and cost.
7. Inadequate research and development:
Due to the vulnerable financial condition, the weavers, individually, are not able to set research and development facility and spend money on it. The state provisions are also not sufficient .Modern designs are not developed in sufficient number and in tune with the changing taste of the public.
8. Lack of Reliable data
Lack of reliable data with respect to number of crafts person, their socio -economic conditions, livelihood conditions, details of families and their productivity, is a major shortcoming that affects the planning and policy
formation of Handloom Sector. Absence of data hinders the growth of
Handloom sector due to non -possibility of inter- sectoral comparison.
Government Initiatives to Power Handloom Sector
Recognizing the socio-economic importance of the handloom industry in the India's economy, policies should be formulated in such a manner that they benefit the disadvantaged sectors of the society on one hand and ensure the flourishing growth of the industry on the other hand in and outside the country. Besides, state help and intervention, private participation, modern outlook and induction of younger generation is required to faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth of the handloom industry.
Deen Dayal Hathkargha Protsahan Yojna
This is a scheme that was specially launched for the rich handloom sector of the country and undertakes things like development of products, support in infrastructure, support at the institutional level, weaver’s training, Supporting in technical and marketing terms etc. The scheme takes care of this and many other things at both Micro as well as Macro levels and provides support to the weavers and their craft. This is aimed at increasing the efficiency of these weavers so that they may meet the rising demands of their products in India and globally. The scheme further aims to provide technical assistance and also support in several other aspects of their art which would channelize their creative energies into transforming their arts.
By: Vinay Joshi ProfileResourcesReport error
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