GUWAHATI, Sept 16 - The Handloom and Textiles Directorate of the State has fixed a target for producing over five lakh gamosas to cater to the need of the people on the eve of the Rongali Bihu festival next year.
Disclosing this, Director, Handloom and Textiles Bishnu Kamal Borah told this correspondent that the directorate has fixed targets for all its assistant directors and superintendents in this respect. For the purpose, it has asked these officers to engage the 98 weavers� extension service units, 20 handloom production centres and the primary weavers� cooperative societies operating under them, besides the Assam Apex Weavers and Artisans Cooperative Federation Ltd (Artfed) and the Assam Government Marketing Corporation (AGMC).
The directorate has suggested to the Union Textile Ministry to cover riha (a garment for women) and pachara (eri shawl) as reserved handloom items under Serial No. 11 of the Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985. This suggestion has been made to reserve the two items in line with the riha and pachara of Tripura, he said.
Borah said the directorate has been taking steps to enhance production of Assamese gamosa for the last few years. It has been fixing targets to its district and subdivision offices to produce sufficient number of gamosas to meet the demand, particularly during the Rongali Bihu. It has also been organising gamosa melas in different parts of the State for a week before the Rongali Bihu festival to make the locally produced handloom gamosas available to customers at reasonable prices.
This time, the directorate is also organising 30 district and subdivision level exhibition-cum-sale fairs to give exposures to local handloom producers. The district and subdivisional officers of the directorate were asked to organise these events during the local festivals of their respective areas, said the director.
The directorate is also imparting training on new techniques of handloom weaving to the weavers for augmenting production of gamosas and other traditional costumes through its 102 Handloom Training Centres and four Handloom Training Institutes located at various places of the State.
With active help from district administrations, the directorate also carries out inspections at business establishments to detect and prevent sale of powerloom-made gamosas and other traditional products like mekhela chadars. Gamosa and mekhela chadar are scheduled items under the provisions of the Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985, he said.
In reply to a query, Borah said that Sualkuchi silk products, especially the muga and mulberry products, have high demand in national and international markets. The cooperative societies registered under the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles like the Assam Cooperative Silk House (Kalpataru), Assam Samabai Resham Pratisthan, Resham Samabai Cooperative Society Ltd., among others, have been playing satisfactory roles in promoting the business in pure silk products.
Moreover, he said, the directorate has been running a production procurement centre at Sualkuchi to enhance the sale of local products. It is also allocating funds regularly to the Sualkuchi Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) for imparting training to local artisans on fashion, weaving and dyeing, he added.