Monday, 30 January 2017

FB Discussions - Handlooms and Issues therein

I buy the most inexpensive handloom sarees usually. I get something for 500/- in Co-optex, and I pick up a couple when I need them. Today in a meeting on handlooms, I figured out that to make a saree takes two long man days. So for a day's hard labour of nine hours a weaver gets 200/-. That is below minimum wage. And it is not a living wage.
But if the sarees get costlier no one will but them. As it is at 500/- only I wear handlooms in my village. The other women cannot afford them.
Manufacturing based on petroleum power needs to go, where every pollution and every depletion is externalized and goes uncosted. Industrilization has to go. Or people will go.

Ramanan Jagannathan All the development that we are around us in terms of science and technology were made possible because petrol freed up time for human beings to focus on more interesting aspects of life. So petrol is not all that bad. while I understand your point , a blanket statement against petrol may not be the way to go forward . But for the progress in technology , we wouldn't be chatting with each other using Internet 
Aparna Krishnan Employments and livlihoods comes first. Sustainability also comes first. So petrol goes out of the window.
Ramanan Jagannathan That is too radical and petrol in a way may be going out of the window with more non conventional energy sources being put to use .
Aparna Krishnan Yes, its radical.  The pauperisation happenning due to livlihood displacement is also radical. Rather invisible tho'.
Ramanan Jagannathan You can't solve the problems created by modernisation by rolling back a part of the technology that we now find as harmful . As I said so where else , we need a different model for a sustainable world .
Aparna Krishnan It was petrol sanctions that set brazil (or was it venezuela) to becoming totally organic.
Aparna Krishnan That alone will give the impetus to a sudden shift. Slow and steady will quickly take us to doom.
Ramanan Jagannathan Entropy in the universe always increases 😊
Aparna Krishnan over many dead bodies.
Prabha Krishnan All you guys in here - I want to share this. I was requested to pass on this message about the greatness of NaMo reign. One great achievement - the nuclear energy agreement between India and Japan has been applauded by IEA - Inventions for Energy Exploration stating that with this great milestone India will achieve exemplary use of solar energy. WHAT???
Anil Gupta The solution is to improve design of loom Abd other technologies to increase labour productivity through innovations
Ramanan Jagannathan What was the standard of living in the olden days for these weavers ? Longevity ? Aren't we getting too nostalgic about the past ? we have to use technology and help make their life better . May be a horizontal expansion model that is essentially decentralised . We have to think and move in this direction rather than asking for petrol ban .
Aparna Krishnan They are getting deskilled and pauperized today. I am not asking for a petrol ban, though I would love one. I am asking for all costs associated with industrial products including the environmental costs to be factored in. Only then will sustainability become viable.
Aparna Krishnan Also the handloom act, 1985, which protects 11 items for the handloom industry is only ignored as every other industry also produces the same.
Ramanan Jagannathan We are coming back to the same discussion that we had on another thread with Sridhar Lakshmanan and Sunny Narang . technology has to help here . if a saree costs 1000 rupees fo buy, so be it . let us find the market for it . take the case of HMT. i love hand wound mechanical watches and have my dad's HMT pilot with me . recently HMT closed down after being sick for a long peruod of time . Why did the majority not cry about it ?
there was a time when watches were few and scarce and we all depended on radio for time . but then came the quartz watches and they almost threw the mechanical watches out of thr window . How Swiss watch industry came up with Swatch and reinvented itself has been studied in depth . today , despite all the quartz watches around, mechanical watches thrive, though on a smaller scale and some of them belong to the luxury category . Handlooms need to undergo a similar change for the weavers to benefit . 
Piyush Manush why are u so confused ..on one hand u support ramdeev's coporate model of production and distribution and the other u shed tears for micro enterprises.
Aparna Krishnan Let there be Ramdev corporates to take on Colgate. Hopefully more accountable to the locals. Let there be local alternatives to take on the Ramdevs. We live in complex times, and there is space for multiple interventions. And need also maybe.
Aparna Krishnan And I do not support or abuse Ramdev . But what I wonder is why people who violently react to Ramdev, do not as violently take on Unilever. That is when I start wondering if it is also the usual Indian disdain for people and things Indian. That imo is one of the most problematic things today, as problematic as mines and dams.
Ravi Badri Aparna Krishnan a disdain for things indian could be a contributing factor but i think there are other dimensions too. we as a nation seem to have this rather quixotic attitutde which is that we will tolerate all the corruption of the main political parties but will raise hue and cry for minor deviations from those seeking to bring a change to the system. We hold change-makers to the highest standard. not that ramdev is a big change-maker as such but he makes tall righteous claims of bringing about change and there is a big gap between his claims and his reality. the media does not speak about his land-grabs. i will not be surprised if there are other skeletons in the cupboard.
Aparna Krishnan There would be I am sure. I hold no brief for him. But I expect Unilever to be a bigger criminal than him, and I see the english-crowd attacking him alone with zest. That intrigues me.
Ravi Badri you are responding without listening  that is exactly what i said. our quixotic attitude. we will tolerate the billions in corruption of bjp, congress but not mistakes of app, Anna Hazaare or AK. so also with unilever.
Ravi Badri actually i think i should take back the quixotic argument. while i think the characterization i mentioned earlier is true of typical indian psychology it is not the appropriate analogy to this situation as i think ramdev is a major con. the mncs make no qualms about their intention to profit and lie-openly, but they are not self-righteous. ramdev is self-righteous, uses Indian symbols and knowledges and appropriates them for profit which is actually more problematic than the mncs and this probably triggers more people. there are a lot of indian products built on traditional knowledge and are widely accepted and also not disdained because they do not make self-righteous claims. 
Aparna Krishnan But is there hope for handlooms in a world where petroleum (and so industry) is so blatanly subsidized by externalizing all costs ? Except by subsidizing handlooms - by a state more and more unwilling to do so ? Where even the Handloom Act 1985 is followed only in abeyance, There is a conferance going on at this very moment to debate all this from policies to technological and design innovations at this moment in Kalakshetra will a wide array of activists and weavers and policy people.
Sunny Narang Just get all the Gurus to wear handloom fabric and the Govt. to make it essential for most employee uniforms and towels as well as furnishing fabrics . The state is one of the biggest clients as well as religious disciples. Art of Living and Sadhguru are also selling stuff online now aka Ramdev . 
Aparna Krishnan Catch the gurus. I always said so. Kanchi Shankaracharya said silk involved largesale killing of silkworms. And all the Tamil mamis stopped wearing silk sarees after that.
Aparna Krishnan Regarding the govt, the Handloom Reservation Act is implemented only in default.
Sunny Narang Its not about Reservation of products , but purchase of products via the right coops and agencies. The problem is that on the ground level most coops are corrupted just as in Sugarcane in Maharashtra , few leaders buy the yarn to trade it using coops. I have seen endless coops with empty sheds , some looms and they are there in every exhibition.
Sunny Narang See any "developed" society , hand work is either elite or vanishes. Look at even agriculture in US, Japan or EU , its all subsidised , forget crafts . Only financial work and services or manufacturing has GDP.
Aparna Krishnan Our government neither wants to subsidize farmers or crafts. The potitical battle will have to go on i guess.
Sunny Narang The United States, the world's largest cotton producer, paid its cotton farmers $32.9 billion to grow their crops between 1995 and 2012, the Environmental Working Group, a research organization, reported.

"U.S. farmers are subsidized so they produce m...See more
Zakeena Seethi Petrol may cease to exist in a few years, and man may learn to harness solar energy more effectively. But even then the problem of employability will remain. So isnt it more prudent that weavers learn powerlooming ? 
Sunny Narang Aparna many handlooms are hybrid powerlooms already. Its a technologically a range of hybrids . There may be some motorisation inevitable in most looms .  

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