The utter generosity of the poor humbles us. They give rice to every mendicant even when their rice is getting over. That is what needs to be understood - their greatnes and their richness. That is what they are defined by. That they are impoverished is what defines us.
We are the cause of that poverty - and the onus is on us to share deeply and completely. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Handloom weaver makes 3000-4000
Rs per month working 8 hrs a day. Even that 3000 or 4000 doesn't reach them immediately after
supplying the products to societies. It takes months before they receive the
money for the products supplied." (via Sridhar Lakshman)
This is the state
of weavers. Farmers are worse off. What
does a corporate worker make ? And why ?
Himakiran AnugulaWe need to dump the damn WTO...all it has done is dump cheap
products from outside and kill local production. We don't value the local
because of this.
KrishnanToo late isnt it ?This
is what the local communities need to get together on and demand. Are the
groups that claim to be mobilizing and working with these communities focussing
on this understanding as a primary issue. It needs a lot of work. Because my
village people certianly like cheap China phones !
Himakiran Anugulanever too late..the whole problem is resignation..accepting the
situation as is...small revolts will coalesce into a larger
revolution...economic resistance is the key...
Krishnanthe monster of consumerism is so powerful. people are hooked
onto items that can be affordable only is it comes from china and not from
local artisans who get a living wage - that monster needs to be taken on - and
i think only moral power can counter it.
Krishnanif manchester cloth could be taken on then, it means there are
possibilities. But how now ?
a very complex system. There is no one "handloom" , even a banarsi
silk saree is handloom , as well as a small towel . The problems are different
at different products and price points . Earlier local sarees or fabrics were
bought by local people ,...There is nothing "pure" handmade today , its all
hybrids , chemical dyes also come from corporations , they define everything
from colours to fastness . As do the big buying houses . It is only in local
retail does anyone have their own design and production flexibility .
we say "handloom" we speak only of the weaver , there are many pre
and post weaving processes . Earlier it was a big ecology of communities,
slowly those communities vanished leaving only the weavers . Good dyed yarn is
as essential , who will do the dyeing and washing and follow the pollution
rules with ETP ?Here is one example but then everything handmade and natural
dyed will be what is now called "sustainable luxury" . It is a fact
that if we pay even Rs.150-300/- per worker for all assorted processes by hand
, nothing will be cheap .http://www.womenweave.org/sustainable-fashion-fairtrade#
will not happen . Look at Malkha , paying everyone fairly , even cotton fabric
will sell at about Rs.350-400/- a metre. The only way handloom will survive is by subsidy or purchase by
the state for uniforms or luxury design and branding .And
many such enterprises are there now in every part of India
KrishnanUnless corporate is made to pay for both the real cost of
petroleum's non-renewability, and the cost of polluting (were such a cost even
definable !) - handlooms can never make economic sense.
Seethithank you Sunny Narang, for enlightening. but do the buyers
really have to pay 350-400/ mtre, to break even for the weavers? that is
shocking to me. i thought it's the middlemen and the unreasonable profit taken
by the shops, that push the prise to this extend. this is not at all affordable to the common
SeethiI used to buy yardage from the footpath i earlier years for
salwar kameez. I used to like to think I was buying handloom, but it was all
powerloom stuff. At that cost it could not have fed a weaver minimally also !
KrishnanMy sarees, now I go to Co-optex or some standard place, and pick
from the lowest cost shelf. Its all 600/- at least.
Seethiyou mean to say ma'am, that this industry can only cater to the
rich? and at 300/mtre, a saree will cost 1500, not 600..
Seethiand i have a problem with the dye they use too....most of them
run very badly..
KrishnanBut yesZakeena, the way industrial products have been subsidized, good stuff
like handlooms which are sustainable and livlihood friendly have been made non
viable. And that is the struggle needed.
them as work of Artisans and use technology to sell directly to end buyers. that
is the only way it can survive and flourish.
KrishnanThey were once items of local daily use. The potter's market was
the entire village. To put the items as \art items' for a fickle urban crowd it
the road to their damnation.
grown at a certain period in time was short yarn till mechanization came and we
even had colored cotton. every part of cotton was used from the cotton plant
post harvest as cattle feed to cotton seed oil for lamps. once this cycle got
KrishnanI agree. We need to act in the present realities. But I'm afraid
the premium decorative niche is too small to be useful. And too fickle.
at it the other way. any skill set has a context. i would be lost in a forest
and a tribal in the city. if the context is no longer there, what is the point
in having that skill set and why should we bemoan the loss of that skill set ?
why cant we re skill people and help them move on ? while we sit and discuss
these things, do the skilled craftspersons really want this kind of life ?smile
KrishnanThere are sustainable skills that a civilizations needs. But a
perverted economics has made it non viable. Dont worry, all the children of the
artisans are 'schooled', and 'unemployed' ... and the skills are fast dying
out. Matter of time.
Ramanan Jagannathanon a
different note, i was discussing this topic of making handloom sarees
accessible to people in the city, with another friend few weeks back. if a
working model, using technology can be found, i will be more than happy and
contribute using my wallet .
Sunny NarangAparna, Malkha is also mostly natural-dyed and Local machine spun yarn
. You know what the great Ponduru Khadi costs ? Almost Rs.600/- a meter and it
sells . And its production has gone down as there are fewer spinners . It
should be costing maybe eve...
Govt handloom stores get government subsidy . So they are cheaper . You have no
idea about what dyes and how well are they doing the dyeing . Also many times
now coops themselves mix polyster . Haven't you heard of Polykhadi ! Also Khadi
heard one person in raipur has developed a loom which makes it easy to make
cloth and learning faster on how to operate a loom. Many companies including
reliance but from him. He is from chattisgarh and i plan to go there in April.
4 yard dhotis that I wear at home are bought from khadi and they definitely
don't come cheap.
are many issues, powerlooms are eating into handlooms, pls go though wats
happening to loom bill. Also let's look at other ways to aid weavers.
bag that you see above is made from kandangi weave a very coarse weave worn by
women in karaikudi, chettinad. Now coarse weaves are not in vogue this NGO has
made them into bags with the border in place and exports it to Netherlands.
Hence the orange color. Net realisation is significantly higher This is one of the biggest NGO in the country.
products have the highest margins . The wedding and festival/religious market
again . Look at Pure Ghee set up by a woman who ran operations at Dastkaari
Haat Samiti once . Delhi NCR has many such enterprises . Design, Craft ,
Textiles , in terms of combination Delhi NCR is a huge exporter .http://puregheedesigns.blogspot.in/
is the other biggest centre of using fabrics from all over India , as Jaipur
Agra Delhi is known as the Golden Triangle and the world comes here including
top designers and Hollywood . They make everything from bags to quilts to
shopping bags is a big winner , even for higher end stores as they can charge
clients easily . Even good paper bags can cost from Rs. 10/- to Rs.50/- or more
does one take on the sheer economic logic of industrial cloth versus handlooms.
I have started feeling sensitive about handlooms because in my village only I
wear them, and the other women would love to wear them, but it is beyond their