On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Ministry of Textiles has formulated several schemes to empower the women engaged in the handloom and handicrafts sector. The textile industry is divided into handloom, handicrafts, silk, and powerloom sectors.
The Handloom sector consists of about 43.31 lakh weavers and allied workers (third handloom census 2009-10), of which 77 percent are women. The four schemes launched for the handloom workers are: National Handloom Development Programme, Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme, Yarn Supply Scheme and Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme.
Amidst these schemes, 100 percent subsidy is provided to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) women for construction of worksheds under National Handloom Development Programme.
SC, ST and BPL women weavers are provided 75 percent subsidy for enrolment under Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
In the Handicrafts sector, there are around seven million artisans, of which 56.07 percent are women. The schemes in this sector include 75 percent subsidised fee for women in SC, ST and BPL categories in NIOS and IGNOU and provision of financial support to artisans in impoverished circumstances for awardee crafts persons below 60 years of age.
Ministry of Textiles conducts special marketing events for women artisans on International Women’s Day. This year the events are scheduled from 7-13 March, 2019.
In the silk sector, the ministry estimates that the number of women employers is expected to increase from 43.20 lakh to 55 lakh in 2020. In order to reduce the toil of the women tasar silk reelers, the ministry is supplying 4956 Buniyaad Reeling Machines by March 2019 and 10,000 machines by 2020.
The Textiles Ministry is implementing 32 projects under its North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) for the silk industry workers in northeast India to create livelihood opportunities. This scheme is estimated to be benefitting 45,000 women beneficiaries in the silk industry of India.
Under the Powerloom sector, ‘Stand-up India’ scheme is launched wherein women entrepreneurs belonging to SC, ST and BPL categories are given financial assistance of 25 percent margin money of maximum Rs 25 lakh on the machinery cost. Under this scheme, the borrower has to bear 10 percent of the project cost and allows reimbursement of credit guarantee fee upto one percent of the loan amount. As per the records, out of 276 applications submitted so far, 250 applicants are women.
In order to bridge the skill gap in the textile sector, Ministry of Textiles launched Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS). Under this scheme, 6,41,983 women were trained since 2014-15 to 2018-19. Moreover, as many as 6,17,915 women were assessed of which 5,32,600 women were placed in the respective sectors.
Saluting the spirit of womanhood, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “On International Women’s Day, we salute our indomitable Nari Shakti. We are proud to have taken numerous decisions that have furthered women empowerment. Every Indian is proud of the stupendous accomplishments of women in various spheres.”