Weaving equipment on display at the exhibition at Utkal Ashram in Berhampur. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy
Berhampur, Jan. 4: Thirty local weavers were impressed after the six hours they spent at the five-day Appropriate Technology Exhibition organised by the National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC) Limited at Utkal Ashram here today.
The exhibition that started today will last up to January 8.
“We witnessed the latest technological developments in the handloom sector at the exhibition and were really amazed,” said K. Bhimaraju, president of the Berhampur Silk Weavers’ Cooperative Society and secretary, Berhampur Patta Handloom Weavers’ Welfare Association.
“The main aim of the Appropriate Technology Exhibition is to disseminate latest technological developments, innovations and to provide an interaction forum to the weavers. The exhibition also aims to assist them in diversifying the existing production capabilities for improving productivity and earnings of handloom weavers,” said Sunderlal, director, eastern zone, of the NHDC, based at Guwahati.
NHDC is a central government undertaking under the Union ministry of textiles
“We had organised such an exhibition at Nuapatna from December 28 to January 1 for the first time in the state,” he said.
At the exhibition, innovations such as extra weft insertion technology machine, which costs Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000, multiple box weaving (Rs 15,000), spool sizing machine (Rs 1 lakh), tusser reeling process machine, four-spindle domestic bobbin winding machine (Rs 14,000) and others were displayed, said Surendra Kumar Patra, assistant director, NHDC, Odisha region, Bhubaneswar.
There are 36 clusters of weavers in the state, including two in Berhampur and Aska of Ganjam district. There are more than 1,000 weavers in Ganjam.
“We have taken steps to disseminate knowledge about the latest technological developments among 150 to 200 weavers of the two clusters of Ganjam district on each of the five days,” Patra said.
Dipak Bharali, who hails from Sualkusi in Assam, and has patented his extra weft insertion technology machine, claimed that weaving would be three times faster with his machine.
“I invented the machine in 2006 and patented it in 2008. It is manually operated and can help weavers a lot. My machine has been awarded three times, once in 2009 and twice in 2011. Till now I have sold 600 such machines in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Bengal. The response in Odisha has been great. The Central Silk Board is providing 80 per cent subsidy to weavers for my machine. The machine costs Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000,” Bharali said.
The four-spindle domestic bobbin winding machine, which is patented by the Nuapatna Weavers’ Society, is also attracting many weavers. “We have sold 180 such machines in the past two years. Weavers can get 90 per cent subsidy on the purchase,” said a member of the Nuapatna Weavers’ Society.
Earlier, the weavers were visiting outside of the state to know about the latest technologies in handloom.
“The exhibition will definitely help weavers to improve their productivity and earnings,” said Upendra Kumar Devta, assistant director, textiles, Berhampur.