Imphal: Union minister of textiles, commerce and industry and consumer affairs, food and public distribution Piyush Goyal has announced that a Mega Handloom Cluster will be set up at Nongpok Kakching village of Imphal East district, the native village of Tokyo Olympics Silver Medalist Km. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, at a cost of Rs. 30 crore to honour her feat that has made the whole country proud.
A Handloom Craft Village will also be set up at Moirang as a tribute to the Indian National Army fighters, who hoisted the Indian tricolor for the first time on Indian soil during World War II, Goyal said.
He made these announcements at the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav function at City Convention Centre.
Goyal congratulated the state government for making great strides in the handloom and handicraft sector in the past four and half years. Stating that the country is yet to fully explore Manipur’s handloom and handicraft potential, the Union minister said products of the state may have great demands at the global market. In this regard, Goyal assured that the Union ministry of textiles would extend all possible assistance in skill development, value addition, packaging, design, brand imaging, etc., if needed.
He suggested chief minister to request the Prime Minister to the lay the foundation stone for the Mega Handloom Cluster to be taken up at Nongpok Kakching under National Handloom Development Programme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ had encouraged the people of the whole country to work hard for self-reliance, stating that every Indian should join hands to make the country’s economy self-reliant and make India a world superpower. As such, the people of India need to carry forward the Prime Minister’s slogan, ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’, he said.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said it is a matter of great pride that the state has many national awardees in the handloom and handicraft sector. The state government has also turned no stone unturned in getting GI tag for indigenous motives like Saphee Lanphee, he added.
Womenfolk are working hard in the state and they have contributed immensely in enhancing the state’s economy. The rural economy is growing so fast in the state in the past four and half years. To strengthen this improvement further, the chief said, the state government is ever ready to help the artisans, weavers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs through StartUp and bank loans. It is them who would largely contribute in making the state’s economy self-reliant, he added.
Textiles, commerce and industries minister Thongam Biswajit Singh highlighting that Manipur has the highest concentration of looms in the entire country said Manipur has around 2.11 lakh looms and around 2.12 weavers. He added that while the population of weavers is shrinking in almost every other state in the country, their population is increasing in Manipur.
He said under the Loom Up-gradation Scheme, till 2019 altogether around 4465 looms have been distributed. Shri Thongam Biswajit Singh also apprised the Union Minister that the border town of Moreh has today become an important location as it will act as the country’s gate-way to the South Asian countries.
Goyal released a short film titled, ‘Saikhom Mirabai Chanu’ besides launching the 100 Motivation Camps in Handloom and Handicraft. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 20 lakh to Mirabai’s mother for the film. The Union minister together with the other dignitaries also distributed tool kits, Pehchan Cards, Yarn Passbooks, looms and Mudra loans to selected weavers and artisans.