Giving handloom the exposure it deserves

Draped in a handloom saree, actor and director Renuka Desai walking the ramp as part of National Handloom Day celebrations at Green Park in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Draped in a handloom saree, actor and director Renuka Desai walking the ramp as part of National Handloom Day celebrations at Green Park in Hyderabad on Wednesday.  

Women weavers take centre-stage at National Handloom Day celebrations

The colourful elegance of handloom stood out as women from various walks of life draped in a wide range of weaves gathered to celebrate the National Handloom Day here on Wednesday. But the day certainly belonged to the humble and unsung women handloom weavers, who were felicitated on the occasion and were given a platform to showcase their creativity.

The event, organised at Hotel Green Park, was curated by Handloom Working Group comprising handloom advocates, social enterprises and designers. Lending support to the handloom cause were distinguished women from various vocations who are known for their love for handloom.

“The conversations that happened here about handlooms should happen everywhere across the country. Wearing handloom should become a habit to keep it alive,” said Padmashri Shantha Sinha.

The anti-child labour activist and Raman Magsaysay awardee, Prof. Sinha, confessed her obsession with handloom products. She said she has never thought about the hard work and the intricate processes that go into transforming yarn into a beautifully-woven handloom fabric or saree.

“When someone used to compliment me on my handloom saree, I used to feel good about myself for wearing it. Now, I love all those who are connected to handlooms, especially the weavers,” she said.

Sreemathy Mohan, textile researcher and entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu who revived Sugundi handloom sarees that came all the way from Gujarat to settle in Madhurai, said handloom fabric was a living heritage. As a nation, India has been connected to fabric right from the Khadi movement of Mahatma Gandhi. “Not many are aware that 70% of pre-loom work is done by women. Spinning is an important process, which is done by women, and weaving happens only after the yarn is spun,” she said. “Know whether you are buying handloom or powerloom,” was her advice to handloom-lovers.

Three women weaver Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies of Puttapaka, Koyyalagudem, Narayanpet promoted by Creative Bee and Abhihaara and supported by UNDP Disha were launched on the occasion.

Anuradha Gunupati, founder trustee of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, and founder of Saptaparni that promotes handloom and supports women weavers, actor and director Renuka Desai, anchor Jhansi, well-known gynaecologist Manjula Anangani, Chitra Sood, CSR lead and director, business management, Microsoft India, Venkat Siddareddy, executive producer of film Mallesham, and anchor Swapna said handloom was their pride, but promoting it was their responsibility too.

An impressive fashion show with the collections of Creative Bee and Abhihaara presented by Bina Rao and Rama Prabha P. respectively was the highlight of the day.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 9:49:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/giving-handloom-the-exposure-it-deserves/article28871838.ece

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