National Handloom Day

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What is National Handloom Day?

The National Handloom Day is celebrated on August 7 every year. The day is observed in honour of the handloom industry and the role it has played for centuries in preserving our traditional handicrafts. The day also honours contribution of the industry and its workers to our economy and employment generation. 

#nationalhandloomday #vocalforlocal #madeinindia #handloom

History of Handloom Day

The National Handloom Day was celebrated for the first time on August 7, 2015, in Chennai. The Swadeshi Movement was launched on this day in 1905 after the Partition of Bengal. The Swadeshi Movement aimed at establishing economic autonomy within British Colonial rule. The National Handloom Day is celebrated on August 7 to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement. 

The movement was further strengthened during the years 1918–1947 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. He pledged himself to boycott British goods, particularly cloth and burned by burning 150,000 English clothes at Elphinstone Mill Compound in Mumbai in 1921. Coupled with this, Gandhiji also raised spinning centers all over India.

Therefore, the day goes back to the root of where it all began. It not only honours the handloom industry but also the people who fought to strengthen and re-establish it in Pre-Independence India. 

The Handloom Industry in India

The ‘handloom’ is a machines that is used to weave material without having the use of any kind of electrical energy. As the name suggests, the machine is worked by hand. The yarn that is spun with the help of these handlooms is called khadi.

In India there are a total of 1246 handlooms clusters spread across the length and breadth of the country. The highest number of such clusters is in Assam at 203.

Objective of National Handloom Day

The day reminds us to honour and celebrate our rich cultural heritage and the people who work tirelessly daily to keep it alive. The idea behind this celebration is to protect the heritage of our indigenous arts and crafts and to empower the workers in this sector.

Make in India and Handloom Industry 

The Make in India program was devised by the Indian government to promote India as a manufacturing destination meeting global standards, to facilitate FDI, to boost invention and entrepreneurship in India. For this campaign, the Indian Textile industry has emerged as a pivotal unit of the Indian economy. A major subsect of the textile industry is the Indian handloom corporation. While strongly holding on to indigenous handicraft roots, the handloom industry has unmatched potential for innovation, variation and experimentation. 

Government Schemes

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

The KVIC was established in 1957. The objective behind the same was to encourage, promote and foster the growth of khadi and village industries in rural India. The KVIC work toward implementing government schemes pertaining to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The Commission plays an important role in developing rural industries by generating opportunities for self-employment in small enterprises.

Important and Allied Ministries

A number of departments and organizations are collectively working toward realising the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat dream and fostering the handloom industry. Some ministries actively involved are: 

  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Ministry of Textiles
  • Ministry of AYUSH

Challenges faced by the Handloom Industry

  • The handloom industry, like many others, was severely hit during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. 
  • The Assam floods in 2020 severely affected the Assam silk handloom industry. 
  • Availability of cheaper alternatives reduces the market for handloom products.
  • Products are comparatively more expensive thereby they automatically become luxury or niche goods. 
  • Handicrafts have been pushed to the side-lines with the availability of more cushiony jobs. 

What to do on National Handloom Day?

  • Support the handloom industry by purchasing handmade goods.
  • Use the hashtag #myhandloommypride when you post your purchases over social media.
  • This way you can also support the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Mission.
  • If you can, support the Indian handloom industry both in India and abroad. 
  • Promote the Vocal for Local Mission.

Trivia

  • Shri Piyush Goyal is the Minister of Textiles at present. 
  • According to the Fourth All India Handloom Census 2019-20, there are 26, 73,891 handicraft weavers and 8,48,621 people working in allied sectors. 
  • From among these, more than 70% of the employees are women. 
  • The E-Dhaga app was launched on December 19, 2016. 
  •  A 10-day “Hunar Haat” was held in February in New Delhi, that showcased the work of 600 artisans and saw a footfall of more than 16 lakh visitors. 
  • An Indian Textile Sourcing (virtual) Fair was organized by the Handloom Export Promotion Council for 3 days on August 7, 10 and 11, 2020 as part of the Handloom Day celebration.
  • There are 8 mega clusters under the Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme. 
  • In the first year of its celebration, the ‘India Handloom’ Brand was launched by the Prime Minister on National Handloom Day. 
  • According to a PIB report published on September 17, 2020, the government of India has instituted 23 e-commerce bodies for the on-line marketing of handloom goods. 

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