Let us support the invisible hands that work behind the scenes

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the very first blog post of our new website. Hope you are safe and in good health during these uncertain and unprecedented times.
Most of us are able to spend these horrific days inside the comfort of our home. Yes, we have a roof above our head and food on our plate. Most of us still have a steady income source and thus don’t have to panic about meeting the ends together. But there are people and sectors that are experiencing hardships and suffering terrible backlash of this pandemic. One such sector is our Handloom sector.

According to the stats, the Handloom sector contributes to nearly 15% of the cloth production in the country and also contributes to the country’s export earnings. 95% of the world’s hand woven fabric comes from India. Handloom textiles and crafts also hold a special place in India’s cultural heritage; weaving being a source of livelihood for millions of families. But as the COVID-19 pandemic causes widespread shutdowns across the globe, the fashion industry, both small and big scale, is feeling its adverse effects. The crafts and handloom sector which is the underlying steel of Indian fashion is now struggling with the disease’s slow but certain decimation of business.

It’s time to support our weavers and artisans working to keep the centuries old crafts accessible and affordable to our countrymen. It is time we stand in solidarity with the skilful hands of millions of crafts people that form the second-largest workforce in India, after agriculture. It is time to go make that one purchase to help the crafts and handloom community, because when you buy a handloom saree or a handmade craft item, you support the handful of weavers that are struggling to maintain their art alive amidst the industry-loom and people who are turning away from the tradition. Their situation has worsened in this pandemic. Let us support them and our vast cultural heritage and wear more of Handmade and Handloom. If we are supporting and standing beside the crafts traditions today, then we are supporting, standing beside and contributing towards a sustainable and green future for tomorrow. 

7th August is our National Handloom Day. It was first celebrated in 2015, to mark the Swadeshi Movement which begun on 7th August, 1905 in Kolkata with the objective to generate awareness about the importance of the handloom industry and its contribution to the socioeconomic development. But I believe we should not confine the beauty of handmade in one single day. We should celebrate handloom whenever we can, especially in these disruptive times, it’s important to value local produce, handmade, ethical source and unity in diversity of this land. 

Hence, we are calling out to you and all people around you to share and support this cause with us. Kindly step up and spread awareness all around. My earnest request to all of you is to help the artisans. Instead of buying from big international brands, give the artisans and small scale business a chance to bounce back. Let us stand by the handmade, handcrafted and the handloom industry of our nation.

Author : Madhubani Chakraborty
Photography : Dhiman Chatterjee

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