Handloom is the second largest sector after agriculture in Manipur in terms of providing employment and other livelihood means, according to the state association of handloom technologists Manipur(SAH-TEC).
Thus, Handloom is the fastest growing cottage industry in the state.
The state has around 3 lakh weavers which is the highest concentration of weavers and also highest concentration on the possession of loom in the country, says S Bhubol, a key member in forming SAH-TEC.
The state also has 2.87 lakh looms. In short, around 6-7 lakh people are directly or indirectly involved in this sector.
Bhubol who primarily represents Shintha Handloom and Handicrafts, Manipur, a handloom production unit was speaking at the inaugural function of the SAH-TEC in Imphal on Friday.
The event was also attended by former deputy manager of Manipur development society S Manaobi, former general manager L Dwijamani Singh of DIC Imphal West district of the state commerce and industries department, President K Indira Devi of Manipur apex handloom weavers & handicrafts artisans CS Ltd. The president Kh Surbala of SAH-TEC also present at the event.
In his key note address, Secretary of SAH-TEC Kh Roshan said that the organization was floated to ensure self employment in the handloom sector and also to form a common platform of all the state’s handloom technologists irrespective of employment status.
Many handloom technologists after passing out their respective courses could not find proper placement in the state due to lack of initiatives and government’s policy.
Considering the necessity to address the grievances of the unemployed handloom technologists, the idea to set up an alternative way which might be represented by forming a body or association of these marginalized handloom technologists, comes into existence.
India’s population in 2011 is reported as 1210 million including 2.72 million of Manipur (sharing 0.22% of all India). The Handloom Census 2009-10 reported that Manipur has 2.04 lakh handloom workers (sharing 5.30% of all India) and 1.90 lakh loom (sharing 8.02% of all India ),government sources added.