Tiruvannamalai: Weavers should annex jacquard boxes distributed to them under Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Programme to their looms in order to realise substantial growth in their monthly income, South Zone Cluster Development Officer D. Jayaramaiah said.
Speaking at a meeting of members of weaver self-help groups (SHGs) operating in Tiruvannamalai Cluster, one of the three clusters in Tamil Nadu, convened here on Monday, Mr. Jayaramaiah said that the main objectives of the cluster development programme were to transform weaving labourers into master weavers; and to help private weavers with various government assistances unlike other schemes where only those weavers attached to cooperative societies become beneficiaries.
“To make all the weavers into master weavers they should be made economically empowered. To achieve this motto several activities are executed under the cluster development programme. Important among those initiatives is forming self-help groups among weavers. There have been 63 groups formed in Tiruvannamalai cluster. Those groups which operate systematically will get bank loan. One such group in Devikapuram got Rs. 50,000 loan. With this amount each member of the group would able to get only Rs. 5,000 in turn, which is too small to be utilised to take up own business instead of working for wages. But by adopting genuine repayment habits banks will come forward to give Rs. 5 lakh for that group over a period of time, which would be enough for every member of the group to start their own business. Because in silk weaving each weaver will at least require Rs. 50,000 to start their own business” Mr. Jayaramaiah said.
He also observed that as many as 160 jacquard boxes have been distributed in the cluster at 75 per cent subsidy. But only about half of the weavers annexed the equipment which employs punch card system to control complex weaving processes of intricate designs, with their looms. “Those who have annexed the equipment started realising about Rs. 4000 more per month. We have distributed jacquard boxes to only each two weavers in every SHG started in the cluster. If at least 80 per cent of the jacquard boxes come under utilisation within a month’s time, we could perceive good impact in terms of income among the weavers who received the jacquard, we can recommend for further distribution of the equipment with 75 per cent subsidy. If you started doing own business cluster development executive would purchase good designs and supply to you weavers which would boost pricing of your wares” he added.
Cluster development executive for Tiruvannamalai cluster V. Arumugam, Cluster manager M. Siddharthan, V. Natarajan Technical Supervisor, G. Kuppusamy, Junior Engineer, Department of Handlooms and Textiles, M. Kanniyappan, co-ordinator, Women’s Handloom Development Society were among those who were present.