There is less chatter in the classes, less clamour in the hallways, and less activity in the canteen. During 60% of its student population has decreased over the past forty years at the Assam Textile Institute, the second-oldest technical textile institute in the nation after the Uttar Pradesh Textile Technology Institute.

According to Gopikanta Thakuria, the foreman in charge of the Assam Textile Institute, the lack of interest in the textile industry among the younger generation and lack of knowledge about the scope, opportunities, and skill training offered by the government are the reasons why Assam has not been able to rise to the level it deserves.

On December 17 and 18, Assam Textile Institute, which now only has 122 students, will commemorate its 100th anniversary. The officials anticipate a rise in demand for the course in the near future.

According to Thakuria, the institute, which was founded in 1920 under Raibahadur Kanaklal Barua’s initiative initially in Shillong and later relocated to Ambari in Guwahati, produced a large number of textile-savvy students who are now employed in a number of nations, including South Africa and Canada.

“The sad reality is that there is less demand in the state for textile courses. Most likely, we haven’t been successful in getting pupils interested in the course and the sector, ” he added.

He claimed that the state’s Assamese textile factories and industries were among many that had been shut down.

“In its early years, Assam Polyester Ltd (APOL), which was founded in 1986 in Rangia, held a sizable market share in significant cities all throughout the country, not just in Assam. It was a well-known brand when it comes to curtains, bed linens, bed shirts, and other clothes or home accessories. However, it stopped producing in 2003 for a number of reasons. Additionally, closed down were mills in Boitamari, Bongaigaon, and Katimari, Nagaon. Such is the state of the Assam industry “he added. 

Assam’s current price for Muga silk yarn is Rs 25,000 per kg, while an Assamese woman’s traditional dress, the sador-mekhela, costs about Rs 40,000 each pair. “The industry has a broad scope and can address the problem of unemployment. Additionally, it may strengthen the state’s economy. The institute is considering holding educational events about textile courses and their potential in classrooms ” he added.