Ranchi, Sept. 1: State’s weavers otherwise busy producing traditional handloom designs would now be rolling out designer items, keeping in mind the latest trends.
Designers and handloom technician experts trained at the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology (IIHT) would be guiding weavers in this trendy shift. “Experts would read the market trends and guide weavers accordingly to come out with the latest handloom products,” said Dhirendra Kumar, the director of handloom and sericulture.
Two such experts from IIHT, Varanasi, have already been appointed for weavers at Pokrikala (Latehar) and Bagaiya (Godda). Eight more experts from the same design school and from IIHT, Guwahati, would soon be appointed.
The state government would also appoint designers to guide the weavers of Ranchi, East Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Dumka and Sahebganj.
To offer optimum exposure to the products, the government has planned to start an emporium, to be called the Jharkraft Emporium, in the country capital and retail outlets in each district of the state. “We have already started a rural mart for in Giridih. We would complete setting up all the retail outlets by March 10, 2009,” Kumar added.
The state government has also decided to divide weavers into “clusters” or co-operatives to optimise production and quality. For now the plan entails 300-500 members in each cluster.
The industry department has sought grants-in-aid of Rs 60 lakh for each cluster from the Union government. Ten clusters have already received the aid.
The director said the department would also urge the Union government to extend its help for 11 more clusters.
The weavers, meanwhile, have asked a vehicle for each cluster. The vehicle, they stress, would help transport products.
They have further alleged that more outlets in rural Jharkhand would boost business. But, the state government is yet to take a final call on the proposal.
About a decade ago, there were as many as 99 weavers’ co-operatives producing handloom products across the state. The number has trickled to 50 now.