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PM Modi launches new e-portal for handloom sector as ‘vocal for local’ call triggers Rs 1 lakh crore jump in turnover

PM addresses National Handloom Day Celebration in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the e-portal ‘Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh,’ a repository of textiles & crafts, developed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology to give a big push to the marketing of the country’s handloom products.

Addressing the National Handloom Day Celebration at Bharat Mandapam in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, the Prime Minister recalled that he had emphasized the need to enlist and compile the diverse clothing of India and expressed delight that it has come to fruition today with the launch of ‘Bhartiya Vastra evam Shilpa Kosh’.

The Prime Minister highlighted the contribution of the handloom industry of India and said that the confluence of old and new defines the new India of today.

The Prime Minister informed that the turnover of Khadi and village industries was only around Rs 25-30,000 crores nine years ago, but today it has reached more than Rs 1.3 lakh crore. He said that the additional Rs 1 lakh crore has reached those associated with the handloom sector in the villages and the tribal areas.

“There is a new revolution in the country about Swadeshi. With the spirit of Vocal for Local, the citizens are buying indigenous products wholeheartedly and it has become a mass movement,” he explained.

“The India of today is not just ‘Local for Vocal’ but also providing a global platform to take it to the world,” PM Modi remarked.

PM Modi said that it was the constant endeavour of the government to make the weavers’ work easier, increase their productivity and improve the quality and designs.

“Ekta Mall is being developed in every capital city of the states by the government to promote handicrafts and products made from handlooms from every state and district under one roof. The Government is also working with a clear strategy to provide the world’s biggest market to its weavers,” he added.

“Those who weave the dreams of an Atmanirbhar Bharat and provide strength to ‘Make in India’ consider Khadi to be not just clothing but a weapon,” he remarked.

Throwing light on his conversations with the weavers before the start of today’s program, the Prime Minister noted the presence of various handloom clusters from across the country in today’s grand celebrations and welcomed them.

Highlighting the Swadeshi Movement launched against British rule on August 9, the Prime Minister said that it was not only limited to boycotting foreign-made textiles but a source of inspiration for the independent economy of India. He said that it was a movement to connect the weavers of India with the people, and this was the inspiration behind the government choosing this day as National Handloom Day.

The Prime Minister underlined the unprecedented work that has been done for the expansion of the handloom industry as well as the weavers.

Noting that India’s textile industry was well-founded in the past centuries, the Prime Minister lamented that no concrete efforts were made to strengthen it after independence. “Even Khadi was left in a moribund state”, he said, adding that those wearing Khadi were looked down upon.

After 2014, the Prime Minister said, the government is striving to change this circumstance and the thinking behind it. The Prime Minister recalled urging the citizens to buy Khadi products during the early phase of the Mann Ki Baat program which resulted in more than a 3-fold rise in the production of Khadi in the last 9 years.

He also noted that the sale of Khadi clothes has increased by 5 times and its demand in foreign nations is also increasing. PM Modi also recalled meeting the CEO of a huge fashion brand during his visit to Paris who informed him about the growing attraction towards Khadi and Indian handloom.

The Prime Minister observed that a huge young consumer class is being formed for every product and it presents a huge opportunity for textile companies. Therefore, the Prime Minister said, it is also the responsibility of these companies to strengthen the local supply chain and invest in it.

He cited the Niti Aayog Report which states that 13.5 crore have come out of poverty in the last 5 years and acknowledged the contribution of the growing turnover of the handloom sector for the same.

The Prime Minister said that the government was committed to the uplift of the country’s weavers and craftsmen.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that the schemes implemented for the textile sector are becoming a major means of social justice as he pointed out that lakhs of people are engaged in handloom work in villages and towns across the country.

“Free ration, pucca house, free treatment up to Rs.5 lakh – This is Modi’s guarantee,” he remarked.