Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged movie stars, youths and others to use handloom products to give a much needed boost to the sector.
“If movie actors decide to use only handloom and handicraft products in one out of their five movies, then those movies will automatically attract good viewership,” Modi said.
Modi said film industry plays a major part in popularizing fashion.
He was in Chennai to launch the National Handloom Day and the India Handloom brand for better market positioning of Indian handloom products.
Speaking at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium, Modi said youths of today make purchases online and added that handloom products should also be made available online.
He said handloom products were to be branded because Indian handloom products lack global branding.
He said the sale of khadi products had gone up by 60 percent after his October 2 appeal to people to use at least one khadi product to brighten the lives of the producers.
A similar call should be given for handloom products.
Modi said handloom could be used for curtains, clothes, bedsheets, doormat and more.
The prime minister said handlooms form 15 percent of the total textile market, and if this was increased to 20 percent, the turnover of the sector would increase by 33 percent.
Starting this year, the National Handloom Day would be celebrated on August 7 every year.
It was on this day in 1905 that the boycott of British products began during India’s freedom struggle.
The National Handloom Day is observed to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry which is part of India’s rich heritage and culture.
Over 43 lakh people are engaged in handloom weaving and allied activities in India.
The industry is a source of livelihood to large sections of rural population particularly women, and BPL families, in addition to being a part of the country’s rich cultural heritage and traditions.
Modi said innovation in design and production should be brought into the handloom sector.
Pointing out the importance of innovative design and marketing, he said the textiles ministry would hold design and marketing competitions.
According to him, pre-weaving stage should be mechanised to reduce the manual labour put in by the weaver.
Listing out the social security measures initiated by his government, Modi said the Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Bank was floated to meet the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Modi said the government had increased the funding assistance to handloom clusters to Rs.2 crore from the earlier Rs.60 lakh.
Earlier in the day, Modi, who arrived in a special aircraft from New Delhi, was received by Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her cabinet colleagues at the airport.
Modi went to the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.