Silk is for all, says Smriti Irani

Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Sadananda Gowda inspecting varieties of silk thread at the Central Silk Board in Bengaluru on Tuesday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.  

Plugging for silk as a fabric not just for women, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said it was time for a change in gendered perception of the fabric and its marketing strategy.

“I don’t want any disservice done to men who want to use silk,” said the Minister, speaking at the launch of an indigenous Automatic Silk Reeling Machine (ARM) and Centre of Excellence for Training at the Central Silk Board in Bengaluru. The perception of “silk is only for women” should change to “silk is for all” to expand its use, she added.

“I think the notion of ‘silk is only for women’ is a very narrow approach in marketing because if you want the expansion of use of silk, then we have to look at diversification of products.” She said scientists and marketing team members need to sit together and push the newer avenues in terms of diversification.

Pointing out that technological advances made by institutions like the Central Silk Board were not being taken to the grassroots sericulturists and marketing of silk is falling short of expectations, the Minister called for a workable outreach programme to promote Indian silk.

Lauding the team that worked in the development of the Automatic Silk Reeling Machine, the Minister said this technology should help women in sericulture, who hitherto were only involved in rearing cocoons or working in outdated reeling units, often endangering their health.

E-dhaga in Kannada by January

Ms. Smriti Irani on Tuesday said the Kannada version of mobile app E-dhaga will be launched by January 15, which will help weavers get information on raw material availability. Karnataka is one of the top silk-producing States.

The Minister said currently the app is available in Hindi, English and Telugu. It will soon be released in Bengali, Oriya, Urdu and Assamese. The E-dhaga mobile app is developed by the National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC).

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 10:56:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Silk-is-for-all-says-Smriti-Irani/article16914061.ece

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