The handloom sector is one of the major symbols of the cultural heritage of India. Apart from that, it continues to be an important source of livelihood.

National Handloom Day: Sixth edition of National Handloom Day to be celebrated via virtual event with a mobile app launch! The Union Ministry of Textiles on Thursday released a statement announcing that it would be marking the sixth National Handloom Day, scheduled on Friday, through a virtual event to avoid a gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic. The event would be attended by the Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, who would be the Chief Guest for the occasion, while Secretary Textiles Ravi Capoor would be the Guest of Honour. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur would also be attending the event virtually.

National Handloom Day: History and Significance

The handloom sector is one of the major symbols of the cultural heritage of India. Apart from that, it continues to be an important source of livelihood, especially for women, who form around 70% of the weavers or allied workers in the sector, according to the ministry statement. The day is celebrated to honour the handloom community, and acknowledge their contribution towards India’s socio-economic development. The aim is to resolve to protect this heritage and to empower the workers in this sector.

This day is celebrated on August 7 as a way to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement. The movement had been launched in 1905 on the same date and now, it is used to create awareness and acceptance towards this sector and their exquisite work.

The first National Handloom Day was organised in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.

National Handloom Day 2020: What has been planned?

This year, as part of the social media campaign, the ministry has requested all the Union Ministers, Lieutenant Governors, Chief Ministers, MPs as well as industrials of eminence to stand in solidarity with the handloom weaving community of the country through their social media accounts. Apart from that, the Secretaries to the central government, and officers at equivalent levels have also been presented with a similar request.

Moreover, the ministry stated that due to the pandemic, a traditional event like exhibition or a mela could not be organised. However, not wanting the weavers to lose out on the opportunity of an exposure like that, the ministry decided to provide them with the chance to sell their products online. In a step that would also give a boost to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Handloom Export Promotion Council would organise a virtual fair, in which over 150 weavers from across the country would be participating.

Called the Indian Textile Sourcing Fair, the virtual fair would be open on August 7, 10 and 11 and several international buyers would also be taking part in it.

Besides this, the event would include a presentation showing the establishment of the Craft Handloom Village in Kullu. Apart from this, a mobile app and backend website would also be launched for the Handloom Mark Scheme. A ‘My Handloom Portal’ would also be launched, the statement said.

Author: Neha