Union Minister of State, Textiles, Shri Ajay Tamta said that the Government of India is taking various initiatives for the welfare of handloom weavers. Presiding over the main event of the 3rd National Handloom Day celebrations in Guwahati, the Minister said that he not only appreciates but also salutes the handloom weavers for their commitment, dedication and skill. He said that handloom weavers should be able to earn due value for their produce, and that Government is working in this direction. While enlisting various initiatives taken for welfare of weavers, the Minister spoke of Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata Scheme under which Government of India assists the weaver by bearing 90% of the cost of new looms. Shri Tamta also spoke of MUDRA scheme, under which loans ranging from Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 10 lakh can be availed by the weavers, with no requirement for any security whatsoever. The Minister also informed the weavers that the Ministry of Textiles has entered into MoUs with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) whereby children of weavers shall be able to avail school and university education, with 75% of fees being borne by the Government of India. Shri Tamta assured the Chief Minister of Assam that the Centre will do all that is required to support the state in advancing the welfare of weavers of Assam.
Another MoU was signed on the occasion, between Ministry of Textiles and designers. Under the MoU, reputed textile designers will work closely with handloom weavers, passing on design assistance and knowledge. This is thereby expected to improve the market potential of the handloom products and improve the earnings of weavers.
The Minister also distributed some educational material to handloom weavers. Study material developed in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) was also distributed to children of handloom weavers.
The National Handloom Day was celebrated across the country. The Union Textiles Minister addressed a gathering at Ahmedabad. Various programmes were held in universities, schools and other institutions as well.