Women empowerment through economic independence in Manipur
Contd from prev issue
It is said that the traditional skill of handloom weaving is not only a status symbol for the womenfolk, but it is an indispensable aspect of socio-economic life in Manipur.
As per the National Handloom Census, 1995-96, Manipur has 4.62 lakh handloom workers (4.25 lakh weavers, 0.29 preparatory, 7,488 dyers & hired which is 2nd position among the top States of the country, 2.81 lakh looms which is 4th position among top States, consuming 12.196 lakh kg of yarn per month which is 7th position among top States and produced 96.07 lakh meters of handloom fabrics which is also 7th among top States of the country).
About 70% of the total weavers are outside the co-operative fold and the remaining 30% are under co-operative fold and a large number of weavers are self-earners. In 2011-12, the Department of Commerce & Industries is envisaged to further broaden and intensify the development of the handloom industry and safeguard the health care of the weavers with impregnation of additional components of the existing programmes/projects while, at the same time, providing adequate funds for State share contribution required to be implemented in the Centrally sponsored schemes of the Ministry of Textiles.
So, when it comes to empowering women through economic independence, the State can focus on the handloom sector and the only way to achieve the target is the judicious implementation of the schemes. The judicious implementation includes a physical survey to select deserving beneficiaries, more importantly.
The writer is senior journalist