Varanasi is famously known as kashi( City of lights), is a city of rich culture, famous for its muslin, silk, perfumes, ivory work and sculptures. For several centuries Kashi has been traditional industrial centre of India - history dating back to BC. It's said that lanes of Kashi was filled with thousands of handlooms, making it a lullaby to the locals and tourists alike.
Handloom industry then
- It was the only centre where silk materials were produced - 17th century.
- In 15th century Kashi was a thriving sector of the cotton textile industry.
- Weaving of brocade with silver and gold - 14th century.
- lanes of Kashi was filled with thousands of handlooms.
Handloom industry now
- Thousands of handlooms that spun around the clock are now down to nothing.
- It takes a month to weave a saree on a handloom, now a power loom can do that in less than a day.
- Cheap imitations and foreign substitutes have brought down the handloom industry to despair.
- The price of a saree from a loom manifolds by the time it reaches the customers
- 85% of the weavers have wandered away to pursue other livelihood options as day laborers.
- Daily wages of a weaver who sits on the loom working for hours taking care of every microscopic detail is 150rs, compared to rs. 800-1000 before.
Actions taken by Seva kirana Team – Sewa international USA
- Has adopted 12 handlooms
- Five education centers have started in Kashi under Education.
- Sanitation - building toilets for a family of 15 or more.
- End to End sales marketing help with kashi-Kutch products.
- Vocational training for adults.