MUSHALPUR, June 11 � About 60 families of Sashipur, Nanke Daranga, Hirimbapur and Parkijuli villages in Baksa district situated near Samdrupdzonkhar, one of the district headquarters of Bhutan, are spearheading a silent garment revolution.
Unlike Sualkuchi, the garment town of Assam, these villages are out of sight and therefore out of mind of the government. These weavers are eyeing the name and fame of Sualkuchi, but with quite a difference, that is, when Sualkuchi is known for muga and paat garments, these remote villages of Baksa district are weaving Bakhoo for Bhutanese men and half keera for Bhutanese women, besides traditional gamosa, arnai and dakhana.
A team of media persons of Baksa recently visited these areas to discover a silent revolution in garment production taking place in the thatch and polythene roofed cottages. In each of the 761 households, out of a total 800 families there are handloom sets numbering from five to twenty from young to old, each member of the families who are skilled in weaving, besides hired weavers are seen engrossed in pouring their imagination into the fabric throughout the day. Their ceaseless work is an example of work culture practiced in these remote areas.
The yarn for weaving the Bhutanese garments is supplied by the Bhutanese people and the garments are supplied to Thimphu, Gelephu, Samdrupdzonkhar and other places of Bhutan.
Latashri Jwhwlao � president and Mohini Swargiary � secretary of Hirimbapur Danai Lunai Samabay Samiti which was formed about 12 years ago and was registered in 2009 said that the cottage industry has not received any help from the government though it has been registered with the Sericulture Department of BTC and traditional handloom equipments are used here.
Due to unavailability of jacker, drum, bobbin machine and other modern equipments, it has been difficult for the weavers to fulfil the growing demands of garments. Satish Jwhwlao, a leading social worker who has been involved in various local development activities in these areas since 1993 told media persons that as there was no alternative occupation for the local people, the idea of weaving industry was initiated by Mohini Swargiary and they have a vision to take the cottage garment industry to the level of Sualkuchi.
He added that a project for development of this weaving industry has been submitted to Sansuma Khungur Bwisumuthiary, Lok Sabha MP, who has given a positive nod in this regard. He also mentioned the positive response shown by Banamali Boro, EM, Handloom and Textile, BTC.
Jwhwlao also added that the weavers will soon get jacker, drum and bobbin machine from Baksa Hastatat Unnayan Samiti an NGO.
It is noteworthy that Hirimbapur Danai Lunai Samabay Samiti has taken part in a number of handloom expos held at Thimphu, Phunsilling, Delhi , Mumbai and local places like Tamulpur, Mushalpur, Subankhata, Kokrajhar and Baganpara.