Posts filed under ‘Habbas of Kalahandi’

western Odisha handloom industry struggles to survive

Following is from the Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, May 27: The state-run handloom industry is struggling for survival and lags behind in popularising the indigenous patterns and fabrics of Odisha whereas private players are doing roaring business.

The plight of weavers, who cater to government textile organisations and many of who have quit their hereditary profession in the past few years because of financial pressures, reflects the fact.

Sonepur, the hub of Sambalpuri textile materials in western Odisha, is home to at least 50,000 weavers. But, absence of an organised market has pushed them into a state of misery. The weavers’ co-operative society, which used to look after the community, is now non-existent in Sonepur while the Odisha State Handloom Development Corporation has been shut down since 2001 and its 500-odd employees continue to struggle for their outstanding wages.

The condition of weavers in Sambalpur district is no better. Lack of proper support from the government and the soaring price of yarn have forced several weavers to quit their traditional profession. “The number of weavers in the state has decreased remarkably. Several weavers are quitting their traditional profession,” said Manabhanjan Meher, advisor to the local weavers’ society, Nikhila Odisha Meher (Bhulia) Samaj.

“One cannot think of supporting his family by weaving alone now. Hence, several weavers are giving up their traditional profession. There were 40 looms at Badbazar. But, a majority of the weavers gave up this profession. Now, there are only three looms at Badbazar,” he added. The government should take steps for controlling the price of the yarn to save the weavers, he said.

The state handloom and textile department said Odisha had 43,652 looms being run by 1,92,339 weavers. Of them, 86,355 weavers operate under 526 weaver co-operative societies and 18,154 are organised under the 1,511 self-help groups.

The weavers, who are not covered under co-operative societies, find it hard to run the profession because of inadequate wages, rise in price of yarn and absence of an organised market.

“I have to depend upon the sahukars (intermediate tradesmen), who supply me with the raw materials such as yarn, dye, and later in turn, take away the finished product from me. While the sahukars enjoy good profit by selling the product, I am paid a meagre wage,” said Parameswar Meher, a weaver of Ranipur village in Sonepur. Parameswar said the wage he got was meagre considering the fact that it took at least 15 to 20 days to weave a sari. “All my family members are engaged when I weave a sari. It takes at least 15 to 20 days to weave a sari and I get only about Rs 2,000 as my wage,” he said.

Rama Meher, another weaver of Kendupali village in Sonepur said it was difficult for him to run his family with the weaving profession. “I have to look for something else now to feed my family since our ancient profession of weaving is not enough for a livelihood. Many in the village have already quit the profession and are doing better as skilled labourers,” he said.

Internationally acclaimed Padmashree Chaturbhuj Meher, who established the well-known handloom store Meher’s that has among its clients President Pratibha Patil, film star Jaya Bacchan and many international cricketers, said the Sambalpuri textile had a huge market. But, there had to be right policies by the government to develop this market, he said.

“With the adoption of new technology such as the Jacquard loom, the weavers now weave more exquisite textile materials, but they don’t get the right price for it. While the independent weavers have to market their product themselves by travelling to the big cities, the others, who are not financially sound, have to depend upon the sahukars who exploit them,” he said.

Management head of the Meher’s Gouranga Patra said the government-run handloom organisation Utkalika was the reason behind quitting of weaving by around 300 artisans.

“It was doing good business, but in the 80’s, the management there was corrupt and they did not repay the weavers, who had taken huge loans to give Utkalika their consignments. This caused a permanent damage to the handloom industry in the state,” sai Patra.

He said the government could take up initiatives in giving weavers promotion to improve the scenario. “Once a weaver has expertise at a certain design or pattern, he should be given promotion by being assigned to work on a more intricate design and a costlier fabric, so he ultimately earns more and also acquires skills. We have around 3,000 weavers working for us this way and they are doing very well economically,” he said.

Last year, the department of handloom invited well-known designers from all over the country to promote the patterns of Odisha at their fashion shows. But, there are other important things to be looked at, feel experts.

“What our handloom industry needs now is better marketing strategies and design innovations. We could experiment with our patterns and add more creativity to suit the international market. Our silk and cotton fabrics are so rich that there is great demand of the Odisha fabric throughout the world. We must capitalise on it. I use it in my creations and get great response world over,” said well-known fashion designer Pritam Panda.

Officials of the state handloom and textile department said the state government was taking all steps for the development of the handloom units and weavers. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has announced a special package for the handloom weavers that includes infrastructure development, capacity building of the weavers, intervention of modern technologies and marketing promotion. Naveen will inaugurate an exhibition of Odisha handloom products in London next week to showcase fabrics from the state.

“The handlooms production in Odisha during 2011-12 was to the tune of Rs 180 crore because of sustained efforts of the state government,” said a senior official.

Two major co-operative bodies — the Odisha State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society (popularly known as Boyanika) and Sambalpuri Vastralaya — have significantly improved their performance. The sales turn over of Boyanika was Rs 52.62 crore in 2011-12 and it earned a profit of Rs 1.13 crore in 2010-11. Similarly, Sambalpuri Vastralaya had made a turn over to the tune of Rs 20 crore in the same year, said the official.

As Odisha’s textile products are facing the problem of duplicated products outside the state, the government has registered two textile items (Odisha ikat and Kotpad handloom fabrics) with the Geographical Indication Registry (kind of patenting at Chennai under the Union commerce ministry.

Five more indigenous and exclusive products of Odisha — Sambalpuri bandha, Sonepuri Bomkai, Dhalapathar screen, Habaspuri sari and Berhampuri patta and jodo — were in the pipeline, said the officials.

May 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm 1 comment

Habaspuri saree weavers seek marketing facilities

Following is a report from express-buzz.com:

BHAWANIPATNA: The painstaking efforts and creativity of Chicheguda weavers make every Habaspuri saree produced here a special piece.

Mostly done in cotton, traditional designs of Kandha tribes like Kumbha (temple), fish and flowers are woven into the sarees.Home to 30 weaver families, Chicheguda village has been instrumental in reviving the Habaspuri handloom which was originally woven in Habaspur village of Kalahandi district during the 19th century.

With the decline of dynasty rule, the pattern of weave too passed into oblivion. However, it was revived by master weaver Ugrasen Meher in Chicheguda. One of the many high profile people wearing the Habaspuri sarees includes Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Subsequently, the government formed the Chicheguda handloom cooperative society to look into training of weavers and marketing of the final products.

However, weavers of the village said even as steps have been taken to revive the Habaspuri weave, a lot more needs to be done for skill upgradation at regular intervals and providing marketing opportunities to them. They also demanded speeding up of the process for geographical indication, copyrights and design patent of the Habaspuri design which has already been delayed by over a year.

The Assistant Director of Textiles Lingaraj Rath said all formalities have been completed to grant the Geographical Index registration to the Chicheguda handloom cooperative society.

He said the department is contemplating to provide crash courses to weavers in producing products in Habaspuri design like bed spreads, table mats apart from saree.

There are also plans to improve weaving methods to increase the productivity. Rath added that all possible steps are being taken to popularise the traditional fabric.

March 4, 2012 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

Centre of handicraft training-cum-design, Sambalpur

Earlier it was reported that Sambalpur will get an Apparel Training and Design Centres (ATDC). Is Centre of handicraft training-cum-design is another name of centre of handicraft training-cum-design or a different institute?

Following is from TOI:

SAMBALPUR: There’s good news for the artisans of western Orissa. The directorate of handicraft and cottage industries finally set up a centre of handicraft training-cum-design in Sambalpur on Wednesday for the benefit of local artisans. The centre will provide design development skills to artisans in order to help them produce articles in keeping with the market demand.

“The main aim of the centre is to provide design skills to artisans. There are many artisans who are engaged in traditional art and crafts, but they often face difficulties in making their products suitable to the changing market demand. The centre will equip them with design development skills in order to help them craft their products to cater to the new trends in the market,” the director of handicraft and cottage industries, Nityananda Palei, said. While inaugurating the centre at Kuluthkani area in Sambalpur town, Palei said they have recruited designers from Rajasthan to provide training to artisans keeping in mind current demand trends.

Sources said the Sambalpur training school would be the second such venture in the state. A similar centre is already functional in Bhubaneswar. The State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts (SIDAC), an independent body under the directorate of handicraft department, will look after the centre. Twenty artisans from Bolangir, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Bargarh have been selected for the training programme that will begin from this month.

“This time we have decided to provide design development skills to artisans who are already in the field. We have decided to cover others arts and crafts in future,” the executive director of SIDAC, B K Dash, said. According to him, the duration of training will be one year and lodging will be provided to the trainees free of cost with a stipend of Rs 1,000 per month to meet their food expenses.

On the other hand, artisans are elated at the opening of such a training centre in Sambalpur. They hope that through the centre they would able to develop their existing design skills.

“The setting up of the training centre at Sambalpur is a welcome step. Design development skill training will definitely give a new look to traditional arts and crafts industry,” said Paramanada Rana of Bolangir and Promaod Maharana of Bargarh, two artisans who have joined the centre to improve their skills in terracotta art.

February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

Orissa government to set up sericulture R&D Institute

Following is a PTI report:

Bhubaneswar, Apr 15 (PTI) Targeting a production of about 500 tons of silk by 2020, the Orissa government today said it would set up a research and development centre for speedy growth of the sector.

“Sericulture has a vast potential in the state. It should be utilised to provide livelihood to tribals and backward caste people… the government would set up State Sericulture Research and Development Institute for proper management and growth of the sector,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said at a workshop on sericulture management here.

Though present growth rate of silk industry in India is about eight per cent, demand for the fabric is growing at 10 per cent, Handloom and Handicraft Minister Anjali Behera said.

While 10,000 weavers in the state need 500 tons of silk, Orissa produces only 81 tons. “The need is to strengthen the sector to fill the gap,” the minister said.

April 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm 1 comment

Odisha Govt. okays five-year perspective plan for the handloom and textile sector

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The State Government on Friday finalised a five-year perspective plan for the handloom and textile sector. It put stress on the welfare of the weavers and giving marketing linkage to their products.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat.

About Rs 182.73 crore would be spent in these sectors in the next five years.

It was decided that emphasis would be given on the disbursement of loans to the weavers. More Women Self-Help Group would be involved in all these programmes. Handloom culture would be set up. Discussions were also held on creating a pension fund for those weavers who have already crossed 60 years.

In a bid to provide the necessary raw material to the weavers, he said 353 common facility centres would come up across the State with an investment of Rs 11.80 crore.

Steps would be taken to invite more investment in the field of handloom and textiles

January 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

New Book- Western Orissa: Past & Present

Thanks to Mr. Tapas Sarangi for the following pictures and information:

From the content it looks like this books gives a nice  overview of Western Orissa. It has separate chapters on  history, heritage, religion, language, culture and art, tourist places, agriculture, education, and industrialization of Western Odisha or Koshal region.

November 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm 1 comment

Handloom products like Sambalpuri tie and dye, Bomakei of Sonepur, Pasapalli of Bargarh and Habbas of Kalahandi to get GI registration

Following report is from The Pragativadi:

In a bid to empower economically backward weaver community in the state, the Odisha government has identified at least eight handloom sub-products for Geographical Indications registration.
The products identified for the GI registrations are Sambalpuri tie and dye, Nuapatna tie and dye, Berhampur Kumbha design, Sonepur-Bomakei design, Pasapalli design of Bargarh, Dholapathara temple design, Khandua fabrics of Nuapatna and Habbas of Kalahandi.

We have engaged IIT-Kharagpur to provide assistance for getting the products registered with GI, Chennai, state textiles and handloom department secretary Arati Ahuja said.
GI is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possesses qualities and reputations that are essentially attributable the place of origin.

Following is a report from the navaratna news:

Saree-1Saree-2

November 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm 2 comments


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