Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani today urged the people to use more handloom products so that lakhs of weavers could benefit. “I wear handloom and urge the citizens of the country too to lend their support for using handloom products to benefit lakhs of weavers,” she said here, marking the second National Handloom Day with a series of events in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency during which weavers were awarded and a number of MoUs were inked. When Uttar Pradesh Textiles Minister Mehboob Ali tried to draw her attention to the plight of weavers, Irani asked him to ensure that all welfare schemes of the Centre meant for weavers reached them directly. She announced a helpline number for redressing the grievances of weavers. She suggested a census to ascertain the weavers’ population.
Praising Modi for dedicating the National Handloom Day to weavers, Irani said he was trying hard to bring a change in their lives and increase their earnings. The NDA government has sanctioned Rs 33,000 crore to the Textiles Ministry to provide financial aid to the weavers, she said. Irani urged retail chain owners and e-commerce websites to give space to handloom products and provide a platform to weavers to sell their products.
She requested fashion designers to share their designs with weavers. Products made by country’s famed designers are very costly and everyone cannot afford them but their designs can help weavers earn more, she said. “I cannot afford to buy your high-end costly products as I am not getting payment from Saas-bahu serials but from the government,” she said on a lighter note.
Irani pitched for providing education to the children of weavers through IGNOU and other educational institutions of open learning. Irani presented ‘Sant Kabir award’ to three weavers and ‘National Handloom Awards’ to 20 of them. “‘I wear handloom’ hashtag has made a massive development and nearly 10 crore people have endorsed it till date,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Union Minister of Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy said weavers wove sarees that made women look beautiful. “Iraniji, you are looking beautiful because the shining saree you are wearing has been woven by our weavers. It is a reward of their toil and sweat,” he said.