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India: Fashion Experts to Go Beyond One Specific Day for Handloom Products and Celebrate #HandloomEveryday

Giving a clarion call for greater adoption of handloom products, designer Ritu Kumar said that India's rich heritage of handloom differentiates us from rest of the fashion world

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India, Fashion, Handloom
The discussion, which took place at the Crafts Museum here, was organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Ministry of Textiles. Pixabay

National Handloom Day, marked countrywide on August 7 every year, saw leading fashion experts talk about going beyond one specific day for handloom products and celebrate #HandloomEveryday.

The discussion, which took place at the Crafts Museum here, was organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Ministry of Textiles.

Giving a clarion call for greater adoption of handloom products, designer Ritu Kumar said that India’s rich heritage of handloom differentiates us from rest of the fashion world.

The fashion icon and Padma Shri recepient, known for blending age-old crafts with a contemporary vocabulary, also said that “we can’t wish away 16 million handloom weavers or their skills” and while master-weavers struggle to make ends meet, handloom sector needs solid commerce backing.

India, Fashion, Handloom
National Handloom Day, marked countrywide on August 7 every year, saw leading fashion experts talk about going beyond one specific day for handloom products. Pixabay

Textile designer David Abraham, who is part of the fashion brand Abraham & Thakore, also linked the discourse to environment.

“Textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Every garment factory is getting larger and more mechanised. The handloom weaver has the smallest environmental footprint. Speaking of fashion, handicrafts is the greatest form of luxury because it’s handmade and has limited pieces,” he said.

National Handloom Day is marked on August 7 which sparked the Swadeshi movement — an anti-colonial campaign to promote indigenous fabrics.

The event also had another Padma Shri recipient, Ram Kishore Chippa Derawala who is a master-printer in the Dabu and Bagru prints of Rajasthan, speak about reduction of taxes on the handloom products since they are anyway more expensive to produce.

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Designers Madhu Jain, Sunil Sethi and Rta Kapur Chishti also shared their views on how Indians need to relook at their handloom heritage and preserve it with the same deal as monuments.

The discussion concluded with the launch of a hashtag #HandloomEveryday that urges more and more buyers to adopt handloom for daily wear.

FDCI has also curated a temporary exhibition of handloom crafts of many Indian states at the Crafts Museum. (IANS)

Next Story

India to Set Up “Border Haats” with Myanmar

The Minister said, The success of the "Border Haats" running along the Bangladesh border in Meghalaya and Tripura has prompted us to go for similar 'haats'

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India, Border Haats, Myanmar
To carry out border trade with Myanmar, the location for the construction of 'Border Haat' has been identified in four places -- Hnahlan, Zote, Vaphai (Saikhumphai) and Sangau (Pangkhua) in southeastern Mizoram. Pixabay

The success of the “Border Haats” with Bangladesh has prompted other northeastern states of India to go for similar arrangements with Myanmar. At the instance of the Mizoram government, the Centre is likely to set up four “Border Haats” (market) along the border with Myanmar to boost local trade and livelihood of the people living there.

“To carry out border trade with Myanmar, the location for the construction of ‘Border Haat’ has been identified in four places — Hnahlan, Zote, Vaphai (Saikhumphai) and Sangau (Pangkhua) in southeastern Mizoram,” Mizoram Commerce and Industries Minister R. Lalthangliana told IANS.

The Minister said, “The success of the “Border Haats” running along the Bangladesh border in Meghalaya and Tripura has prompted us to go for similar ‘haats’ with Mynmar in Mizoram.”

Mizoram Commerce and Industries Department Director J. Hmingthanmawia said that the state government has sent the detailed proposals in this regard to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for its approval.

India, Border Haats, Myanmar
The success of the “Border Haats” with Bangladesh has prompted other northeastern states of India to go for similar arrangements with Myanmar. Pixabay

“Once we get the green signal from the MEA, we would seek funds from the Union Industries and Commerce Ministry,” Hmingthanmawia told IANS. He said that officials of the Mizoram government and Myanmar have recently conducted a joint survey and identified the locations to set up the “Border Haats”.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga in his Independence Day speech had said that the proposed “Border Haats” would become important trade points between India and Myanmar.

“Land Custom Station (LCS) at Zokhawthar, the lone trade route for Mizoram with South East Asian countries, is being proposed for upgradation. Construction of Trade Facilitation Centre at Tlabung has already been completed.”

“The Indian government has also proposed construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at four places at the border in Mizoram — Marpara, Tuipuibari, Silsuri and Nunsury. The construction of ICP at Kawrpuichhuah is also expected to commence shortly,” the Chief Minister added.

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Mizoram has an unfenced international border of 404 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh. The Border Security Force (BSF) has been guarding the Bangladesh border and Assam Rifles personnel are posted on the border with Myanmar.

Experts and various studies suggest that if the “Border Haats” are set up, smuggling of drugs and other commodities would be checked to a large extent. Security expert Manas Paul said that large-scale smuggling of drugs from Myanmar via Mizoram and other neighbouring states has increased in the last few years.

“What is really worrisome is the fact that these synthetic drugs have got a domestic market inside the state, especially among the younger generation. Cross border legal activities including setting up of “Border Haats” could curb the smuggling of drugs and other contraband,” Paul, who has authored books on security and terrorism in the northeast, told IANS.

The CUTS International, a Jaipur based international NGO, with support from the World Bank, had conducted a study in 2016 to understand and examine the effect of “Border Haats” on poverty alleviation and other multiplier effects such as informal trade.

India, Border Haats, Myanmar
At the instance of the Mizoram government, the Centre is likely to set up four “Border Haats” (market) along the border with Myanmar to boost local trade and livelihood of the people living there. Pixabay

CUTS International Executive Director Bipul Chatterjee said that trade will increase income, curb smuggling, and cross-border crimes will also go down.

“‘Border Haats’ have contributed to the border area development, roads have improved, trafficking of women has stopped, unemployment issues have been addressed,” said Chatterjee.

Currently four “Border Haats” are operational in Meghalaya and Tripura. The first “Border Haat” was started on July 23, 2011 at Kalaichar (India)-Kurigram (Bangladesh) in the West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. Three other “haats” followed in Meghalaya and Tripura.

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The Union Industries and Commerce Ministry has been spending on an average Rs 3.5 crore to develop the infrastructure and necessary facilities for each “Border Haat” along the Bangladesh border. The Bangladesh government is not providing any funds for the purpose.  (IANS)