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.

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