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'Manipuri handloom industry will not flourish until benefits reach genuine weavers'

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2019 14:24 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], July 7 (ANI): Manipur's handloom industry will not flourish until the assured government benefits reach genuine weavers, said Laishram Sidharani, who left her profession as a lawyer to promote the handloom industry in the state.
Sidharani, a law graduate from Delhi University, told ANI, "The maximum weavers in the region are women and most of them are illiterates. As a result, they are not aware of the existing schemes and projects introduced by the state government. Unless and until the genuine weavers don't get the assured benefits from the government, Manipuri handloom will not flourish."
"The government needs to take some constructive steps or decisions to preserve the handloom sector because the industry's condition is worsening day-by-day despite various government projects are in the pipeline," she added.
Without the support of locals, Sidharani claimed that expansion of any business is difficult. "If locals join our hands, we can generate more employment for the jobless and it will help us improve the economy of our state."
Sidharani said she earns a profit of Rs 4.5 lakh annually from the industry, adding that her craftsmanship is in designing 'Fige Phanek', a traditional attire mainly worn by women during ceremonies of Meetei community.
"I learnt the skills of weaving from my mother. Since 2015, I have been working to promote the craft through various exhibitions and other projects in the state. Under a self-help group called E-Yong Sangbanabi, around 30 women are involved in weaving Fige Phanek Mayek traditional fabrics," she said.
"Besides, I have provided working capital to 15 local woman weavers who cannot afford to buy yarn to start their business. The final products will be sold out to the market later," she added.
Manipuri traditional fabrics, famous for their finesse and elegance, have earned a distinct place among the textile crafts in the country. The cottage industry provides the highest employment to the womenfolk of the state. The traditional skill of handloom weaving is not only a matter of status symbol to the Manipuris, but also is an indispensable aspect of their socio-economic life. (ANI)