The Union Textiles Minister Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Friday inaugurated a 45-day long skill upgradation training programme for Scheduled Caste handloom weavers belonging to Sohlela Block in Bargarh district of Odisha.
The Minister provided the certificates to pass outs of the first Handloom Entrepreneur training course and handed over the sanction letters to handloom weavers under Pradhan Mantri Weaver MUDRA Scheme. He also visited an exhibition of exquisite Ikat handloom products prepared by awardees and producers registered under India Handloom Brand.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Gangwar said that the Central Government is implementing several new initiatives under the guidance of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, which are aimed at raising earnings of handloom weavers to Rs. 500 per day.
The Government is giving special priority to handloom weavers belonging to Scheduled Caste. Out of more than 600 weavers who will be benefited by the block-level cluster project in Sohela, 90% weavers belong to the SC category. Bargarh area of Odisha is a large cluster of handloom weaving and is famous for tie and dye Ikat weaves.
It has produced a large number of national awardees. Government has sanctioned 228 such projects in the last one year, 19 of which are in Odisha. Handloom weavers receive a wage compensation of Rs. 210 per day from the Government, during the training period.
Another major initiative taken by the Government to improve earnings of handloom weavers is to provide them with working capital loan under MUDRA scheme, with added benefits of interest subsidy and margin money; this would enable maximum realisation of sale price by the weavers. The Union government has set a target of providing such loans to 5 lakh handloom weavers in next three years.