National Handlooms Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced August 7 as National Handloom Day to mark the 1905 Swadeshi movement.
Modi also launched the 'India Handloom' brand at a function in Chennai. The brand will help weavers cater to more global markets, he added.
The PM also called for increased use of handloom products, saying a 5% increase in comsumption will increase revenues by 33% for the sector.
"The handloom sector has inherent strengths that we need to market. Can we not enhance use of handlooms in our daily lives," he said in his speech. "We should enlarge the scope of e-commerce for sale of handloom products."
The PM landed at Chennai airport at 10.35 am and was received by Tamil Nadu governor K Rosiah, J Jayalalithaa and her five senior cabinet ministers. Later the Prime Minister and governor left for Madras University, where the Prime Minister officially announced the day.
It was on August 7, 1905 that the formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made in a meeting at the Calcutta Town hall. The movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes.
Around 3,000 handloom weavers from various parts of the country attended the function at the Madras University Auditorium today.
Tamil Nadu CM, however, gave the function as miss, without providing an official reason. Jayalalithaa had not attended former President APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral earlier due to health reasons.
The Prime Minister also conferred the Sant Kabir awards and National awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to handloom personalities.
"The observance of National Handloom Day and honouring of handloom weavers will not only provide an impetus to India's handloom industry but would also serve to promote handloom as a genuine international product of good quality," an official statement said.
Handloom weaving provides direct and indirect employment to more than 43 lakh weavers and allied workers. The sector is responsible for nearly 15% of cloth production in the country and also contributes to export earnings. Around 95% of the world's hand woven fabric comes from India.
The government also introduced various policy initiatives and scheme interventions.