The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said handlooms can be a tool to fight poverty, just as swadeshi was a tool in the struggle for freedom. He said Khadi and handloom products provide the same warmth that mother's love provides.
He was speaking at the celebrations of the first National Handloom Day in Chennai.
The Prime Minister emphasized that India, whose handicrafts were once in demand across all continents, had not been able to market its handloom products well in recent times. He said that with the world becoming progressively more aware about the environment and holistic healthcare, there is a need to highlight the eco-friendly aspects of handloom products.
The Prime Minister recalled his appeal on the radio programme "Mann Ki Baat" in October last year, for all households to keep at least one Khadi product at home. He said that he had been informed that Khadi sales have risen by 60 percent since then. He said a similar effort now has to be made for handloom products.
On an emotional note, the Prime Minister said that the entire family of a weaver is involved in the creation of a product such as a saree. He said the family makes the saree just as a mother brings up a daughter - and once it is ready, the family bids it farewell, the way a bride is bid farewell after the wedding.
The Prime Minister launched the India Handloom Brand. He also presented the Sant Kabir Awards and National Awards.
The Governor of Tamil Nadu Dr. K. Rosaiah, Union MoS (I/c) for Textiles Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union MoS (Road Transport & Highways and Shipping) Shri Pon Radhakrishnan and the Minister of Finance and PWD for Tamil Nadu Shri O Paneerselvam were present on the occasion.