Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday said that the government is working with different sericulture and weaving clusters to enhance the livelihood of the people in the state.
He said this while lauding union minister Smriti Irani for launching “My Handloom Portal” on the occasion of National Handloom Day.
“My Handloom Portal” is a one-stop platform for information on everything related to handloom,” Conrad Sangma said.
“This portal will allow weavers and other stakeholders to track applications in real-time, thereby enhancing transparency and increasing efficiency,” the Meghalaya CM added.
Along with the Ministry of Textile, Government of Meghalaya launched a social media campaign to champion the cause of people engaged in sericulture and weaving.
In a series of tweets with #Vocal4Handmade, Conrad Sangma said, “We salute our Handloom Weavers who make commendable efforts to preserve the vibrant indigenous handloom and handicrafts sector of our nation”.
He informed that the State produces “Ahimsa Silk”, which is unique.
The silk is produced by a non-violent breeding and harvesting method, wherein the wild species is allowed completion of the metamorphosis to its moth stage.
CM Conrad Sangma informed that the Sericulture & Weaving Industry has a special significance in poverty alleviation, as it is labour intensive, less strenuous, requires less capital and has a good market.
“It also generates sizeable employment opportunities in rural areas,” the Meghalaya CM said.
He informed that a large segment of women in the State has taken up Sericulture and Weaving activities i.e. Silkworm rearing, Silk Reeling/ Spinning and Weaving in their own houses, besides attending to other household activities.
“It not only ensures overall development of women but also enables her to play a significant role in the family and the society,” the Chief Minister informed.
Currently, Meghalaya is implementing 3 (three) central schemes. Under Sericulture sector, it is actively undertaking the Integrated Scheme for Development of Eri Silk Industry in Ri-Bhoi District (Aspirational District), wherein various forms of assistance are provided to Eri farmers, such as financial assistance for raising of Eri Food plants, assistance for construction of Rearing House, Supply of Rearing equipment, Financial assistance for the establishment of Eri Private Graineurs, the establishment of a Cocoon Bank, besides Equipment support for the establishment of a Modern Spinning Unit, as a precursor to value addition.
In the Handloom sector, several activities are being promoted, through the Cluster Development Programme.
Under this scheme, 72 Handloom Cluster have been set up in every district covering 5307 weavers. The target groups are the traditional weavers, who are encouraged to form Self Help Groups, with the objective of enhancing the productivity of Handloom fabrics in the Cluster.
Weavers are also provided financial assistance for construction of worksheds and for setting up of yarn Banks in their own village clusters, to enable easy procurement of yarns at Mill Gate Price.
The scheme is also providing job opportunities for unemployed local youth.
So far, 128 numbers of student graduates from Handloom Training Institute, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology and National Institution of Fashion Technology have been engaged as Cluster Development Executive and Textile Designers.
A unique project that has newly emerged is the Integrated Textile Tourism Complex at Nongpoh, which aims at both augmenting and leveraging the textile-based tourism by setting up the necessary infrastructure, comprising of traditional style cottages, restaurants, food court and emporium, for showcasing and marketing the diverse & rich handloom products of the State.