The National Handloom Day: Basics Explained

The National Handloom Day was celebrated all over the country, on August 7. 7th August was notified by the Government of India as National Handloom Day 2015 with the objective to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry and its contribution to the socioeconomic development of the country in general and to promote handlooms, increase income of weavers and enhance their pride in particular.

August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on this day in 1905 in Calcutta Town Hall to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British government.


The date August 7 has been chosen due to its special significance in India’s freedom struggle; it was on this day in 1905 that the Swadeshi Movement was formally launched, at a massive meeting in the Calcutta Town hall.                   

           The Swadesh Movement had its genesis in the anti-partition movement which was stated to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal. October 16, 1905, the day the partition formally came into force, was observed as a day of mourning throughout Bengal. The methods adopted were petitions to the Government, public meetings, memoranda, and propaganda through pamphlets and newspapers such as Hitabadi, Sanjibani and Bengalee.

The objective of nationalists were to exert sufficient pressure on the Government through an educated public opinion in India and England to prevent the unjust partition of Bengal from being implemented.

The movement involved revival of domestic products and production processes. The Government of India has declared August 7 as National Handloom Day every year, in memory of this.

           The handloom industry plays a key role in the Indian economy — from providing employment to rural population to being a carrier of India’s rich cultural heritage to other countries. According to handloom census 2019-20, the handloom sector creates around 35 lakh of direct employment. If other industry stakeholders are considered — other textile manufacturers, fashion designers, etc. — this number will be much higher as because it includes other textile, making this the second largest source of employment for rural population after agriculture.

that total Textiles and Apparel including Handicrafts exports was 29.8 billion dollar during the April to December last year(2021), as compared to 21.2 billion dollar for the same period in 2020 year. Exports for the whole sector- Textiles, Apparel and Handicrafts, increased by 14.6 percent from April to December(2021)as compared to 2020 year.


Fragmented nature of the sector has given rise to many problems. Most of the problems concerning the sector can be broadly categorised into weaver and supply chain problems.

The first and foremost problem that a weaver faces is the lack of financial viability. According to the Handloom Census, approximately 67 per cent of the weavers still earn less than ₹5,000 a month, which is less than the amount that an unskilled worker earns as per the minimum wage rule.

Further, most of the weavers depend on indirect sources of credit with high rates of interest. This is due to the low penetration of banking facilities among the weaver community. According to the handloom census, approximately 76 per cent of the weavers do not have access to banking facilities, let alone credit facilities from banks

The primary problem lies in the procurement of raw material. Most of the yarn purchased by weavers (approximately 76 per cent) is from the open market and the remaining is from government and co-operative societies.

The price fluctuations in the open market eat up the profit margins of the weavers.

On the marketing side, adequate sales support and proper branding are almost non-existent for the finished goods.

Government policies

To overcome these problems, the Government has provided various incentives and benefits to the weavers Some of these policies are designed to address weaver problems, and others are designed to address supply-chain problems.


Description automatically generated

The NHDP and CHCDS policies encourage the formations of clusters at block-level and mega-level. Both these policies provide financial assistance to the weavers in clusters with respect to raw material procurement, production and others, indirectly helping them to earn higher margins. Some policies prioritise the construction of handloom parks and textile parks to increase employment opportunities (weaving and allied activities) in the country.

The announcement by the government to construct seven textile parks in three years is also one such initiative to expand the industry.

To address the supply-chain problems, the Yarn Supply Scheme provides benefits to the weavers in the form of subsidies for purchasing yarn. However, this scheme does not ensure the availability of yarn to all the weavers and does not completely address the non-availability of raw materials. In recent times, marketing of the handloom products has been given high importance by the government.

. The melas and urban haats are set up regularly for the sale of products. Exports are also promoted. Further, to shield the handloom sector from external branding and to increase the authenticity of products, ‘India Handloom Brand’ has been created and promoted extensively by NHDP.

Although there are many schemes and facilities offered by the government of India, most of the weavers do not know the existence of these facilities. As per the census 2019-20, the awareness about different benefits that can be availed of by weavers averages 17 per cent for a selection of 11 schemes. This suggests an extremely poor awareness of the policies amongst weavers.


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password