HYDERABAD: The promise to deliver handloom weavers from rising debt awaits official sanction, despite allocations made in the budget. A sum of Rs 3000 crores allocated to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD) to benefit handloom weavers is yet to be released, said the union minister of state for textiles, Panabaaka Lakshmi. “My duty is to implement the national policies first. Weavers from the state will not be overlooked. The loan waiver scheme will prevent suicides by debt-ridden handloom weavers,” said the minister at the inaugural of the ‘Silk Fab’ exhibition at Kamma Sangham in the city. The scheme is scheduled to benefit 15,000 weavers’ cooperatives, covering three lakh handloom weavers across the country who were unable to repay their loans. Andhra Pradesh apart from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh has a large chunk of the rural population employed in weaving textiles on handlooms.
The exhibition, sponsored by the ministry of textiles, government of India and organised by theNational Handloom Development Corporation Limited will be on till January 15. The exhibition showcases a wide variety of handloom silk, sourced from across the country. The minister of handlooms and textiles for Andhra Pradesh, Penta Shanker Rao was the guest of honour at the event.
Stalls representing Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal registered a major presence though Assam and Odisha had been earmarked only one stall each for showcasing their wares.
While Tussar Ghicha sarees in natural colours and austere designs set the flavour for those wanting to keep it simple, jacquard and velvet in bright colours and embroidery made Benarasi silk stood out. Silk Fab offers a selection of unstitched materials, stoles, sarees and furnishing material to brighten up Sankranti and Pongal. The stoles are priced at `250 and upwards and jacquard furnishings cost `800 per metre.