7th August is celebrated as the National Handloom Day in India to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement launched in 1905 to encourage indigenous industries particularly handloom and handicrafts. The artisans and weavers have contributed to the socio-economic development of the nation and driving the progress bottom up. It is only when we appreciate the nuances in the past, we get acceleration to move forward with clarity. Such observations help us give our credit where it is due and empower the artisans who have protected, preserved and promoted our rich cultural handloom heritage.
Odisha is a cradle of exquisite handloom and handicrafts appreciated worldwide for its uniqueness and craftsmanship. Ikkat, Bombkai, Bethampuri and Khandua Patta, Kotpad, Passapali are household names all over India for its unique combination of colors and attention to detail. The hands that have weaved the magic of looms have been also nurtured and supported by Government of Odisha. More power to them by endorsing vocal for local will help to recover the Covid 19 crisis and bounce back stronger.
We have been trying our best to empower and support the artisans by always gifting Odisha based handloom, sarees, souvenirs. All the female guests from India and abroad, are humbly presented this integral gift from Odisha. I always carry a pipli bag while I travel. This is my humble way to showcase the art of Odisha. As a member of committee of Railways, I have requested for compulsory usage of Khadi Linen by Railways to give impetus to this sector which has been upended by the waves of pandemic. We all can do our own bit to be vocal for local and take local to global levels by wearing our own weave.