Government provides skill development training to male weavers in Manipur
Weaving, an age-old practice in Manipur, is now being used as a tool to provide sustainable employment in the rural areas. While it has till now mostly been practiced by women folk, the government has now started giving training to male weavers to provide them employment, and to boost the state's economy.
A two-month-long "Jacquard Weaving Training to Male Weavers" is being held at the Weavers' Service Centre at Porampat in Imphal east district.
The skill development programme has been organized by the Development Commissioner for Handlooms and the Ministry of Textiles in collaboration with the Commerce and Industries department, Government of Manipur.
In total 137 male weavers from various districts of the state are taking part in it.
The weaving centre was inaugurated in February this year with an aim to encourage the men folk of the state to take up such self employment ventures and contribute to the state's economy.
"We are working for the handloom weavers of this region, Manipur and Nagaland. This office imparts training to upgrade their skill in weaving, designing, dyeing and printing. Also we render technical services, just like we used to give designs to the weavers. We render technical assistance if they have any problem in their weaving profession," said Sandeep P, Assistant Director, Weavers Service Centre.
Handmade traditional clothes from the Northeast are in great demand within the country and abroad. Manipur occupies the third place in the country in producing handloom products.
There are many cooperative societies and self-help groups operating in the region that are now training women and men to weave in order to enable them to achieve self-reliance.
"In Manipur there is employment problem, so many youth are joining different streams. By learning such kind of weaving we can develop ourselves. We are not only producing traditional clothes but also produce other types of attires. We can sell them in the market and earn for our self-reliance," Wungmakhok Vashai Zimik, a trainee.
"In Manipur most of the weaving is done by women but we have heard that outside 90 percent of the weavers are men. Even though the women only weave, we are still at the 3rd position in producing handloom products. We thought that we could compete, and why can't we be in the first position. That is why we joined the training programme," added Chirom Khelle, another trainee.
The government is trying to promote traditional handlooms and handicraft weaving in the Northeast in order to improve the living condition of the people as well as to boost the state's economy.
Several schemes have been launched to train people and provide them financial help to start their own business.
Exhibitions and workshops are regularly held to raise awareness about latest technologies and market demand.
(Posted on 10-03-2014)