Minister KTR exhorts public representatives to celebrate National Handlooms Day on a grand scale

Handlooms and Textiles Minister KT Rama Rao urged public representatives to commemorate National Handlooms Day on a grand scale. In a letter addressed to them, the Minister mentioned the schemes and programmes implemented by Telangana government for the upliftment of handloom weavers. The letter also outlined the activities scheduled for the week-long celebrations of the National Handlooms Day.

KTR said that under the leadership of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, various programmes were implemented for the welfare and livelihood of handloom weavers. Every year, a special budget of Rs. 1200 crores is allotted to the Handlooms and Textiles sector starting from 2016-17, an unprecedented move not witnessed in any of the earlier governments. The Minister noted that the Handlooms Loan Waiver Scheme was launched to prevent weavers from succumbing to debt-induced despair. From 2010, a total of 10,148 handloom workers were freed from loans amounting to Rs 28.97 crores.

He said that looms were geotagged to identify the weavers who depended on the handlooms profession. In a first in the country, nearly 50% subsidy on yarn, dyes, and chemicals was provided under the Chenetha Mithra. Under this scheme, nearly Rs. 41.2 crore subsidy was directly deposited in the account of 20,500 weavers.

The Minister also explained the State’s contribution under the Nethannaku Cheyutha scheme. Under the scheme, the State government contributes 16% of the declared income against 8% contributed by the handloom weavers. And, the State government contributes 8% to the powerloom workers contribution of 8%. In view of COVID-19 pandemic, the lock-in period of three-years under the scheme was relaxed. Based on the request from the handloom weavers, the scheme was relaunched with Rs. 90 Crore budget plan. A total of 32,328 handloom workers joined the scheme so far. Akin to the Rythu Bima, the State government launched Nethanna Bima providing Rs. 5 lakh insurance coverage. Under this, 40,000 weavers under the age of 59-years were provided with the insurance coverage.

The Minister said that a R&D division was set up under TSCO to preserve and pass on the art of handloom weaving to the future generations. And, the handloom art which was once popular and became extinct was integrated with contemporary approaches. This led to the revival of TSCO ‘Pitambari Pattu Saree’ ‘Armoor Pattu Saree’, ‘Siddipet Gollabhama Saree’ and others.

Listing out further initiatives, the Minister said that the ‘Pavala Vaddi Scheme’, modernisation of looms scheme, and Handloom Park in Gadwal were also introduced. KTR noted that the welfare and progress initiatives undertaken by the Telangana government had garnered attention from other Indian states. Officials from Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu who studied the scheme were full of praise for it.

Stating that Telangana government celebrates National Handlooms Day on a grand scale, the Handlooms and Textiles Minister KTR said that Handlooms Week would be celebrated across 33 districts of the State this year too. Besides this, handlooms and textiles products will be exhibited at Peoples Plaza from August 7 to 14. State level handlooms celebrations will be held with 7500 weavers at BMR Sartha Functional Hall. Not limited to celebrations, the State government will announce welfare programmes for weavers on the National Handlooms Day. He said that a comprehensive health insurance programme would be taken up for the weavers under the auspices of Aarogyasri Trust. The Minister said that Nethanaku Bima will be implemented this year too. A programme titled ‘Telangana Chenetha Maggam’ would be launched to upgrade the pit looms to frame looms. Foundation stone will be laid for Handlooms Handicrafts Museum at Shilparamam in Hyderabad, and a convention center in Uppal Bhagayat.

The Minister requested the public representatives to disseminate the information about welfare and development programmes implemented for handloom weavers on the occasion of the National Handloom Day. Also, he asked them to engage in the festivities alongside weavers in their respective areas and organize Meet and Greet programmes.