Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurated a 45-day-long skill upgradation training programme for Scheduled Caste handloom weavers in Bargarh district. Bargarh area of Odisha has a large cluster of handloom weavers and is famous for tie and dye Ikat weaves. It has produced a large number of national award winners.
The Minister also gave away certificates to students of the first handloom entrepreneur training course. Sixty handloom entrepreneurs have completed training in Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology at Bargarh, Varanasi and Salem.
Gangwar said that the central government is implementing several new initiatives which are aimed at raising earnings of handloom weavers to Rs 500 per day. The minister added that the Ministry of Textiles has asked state governments to send projects of blocks that have concentration of SC weavers on priority. A block-level cluster project is the new approach adopted by the government for comprehensive development of handloom weavers.
Under this, a project can avail assistance of up to Rs 2 crore for activities such as skill upgradation, loom upgradation, work sheds, professional assistance from a designer, common facility centre, dye house and a raw material depot, read a press release. In the last year itself, the government did sanction 228 such projects, 19 of which were in Odisha. Handloom weavers receive a wage of Rs 210 per day from the government during the training period, it added.