Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Modi cheers weavers with co-op banks revival plan
` Prime Minister also advises artisans to tap the huge market of Banarasi sarees in country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday brought some cheer for the weavers of Kashi by announcing a package of Rs 2,375 crore for revival of 16 sick cooperative banks of eastern UP from which they can avail loan easily.
Giving a business tip to the weavers, the Prime Minister advised them to tap the huge market of Banarasi sarees in the country. Modi, who is here on a two-day visit, was welcomed in typical Banarasi style with slogans of ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. This is his first visit to the holy city after becoming Prime Minister.
Addressing a gathering of 2,000 plus weavers after laying the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre and crafts museum at Lalpur, Modi said: “Every women in this country knows about Banarasi sarees. It needs no marketing. You have to just tap the huge market already available across the country.”
This centre and museum would come up at a cost of Rs 150 crore in the next 18 months. “Every mother has a dream to gift at least one Banarasi saree to her daughter in marriage. And about 20 crore marriages take place in the coun- try every year. You have to just tap this market by increasing production,” Modi said while justifying his point.
The PM also highlighted the importance of textile industry of which weavers are a part. “After agriculture, textile is most employment generating industry in the country,” he pointed out.
“At a power loom or a hand- loom, both artisans and employers work like a family and have strong bonding,” he added. However, he insisted on use of latest technology in weaving sector in order to face the increasing global competition.
He stressed on scientific training that weavers could take at their place itself. “Upgradation is necessary so that the new generation takes up this profession (weaving) willingly and not as a compulsion,” Modi said.
The PM also highlighted the importance of Jan Dhan Yojana, a project that entails a bank account to every family. “Now, any financial assistance for weavers will be directly transferred into their bank accounts,” Modi said.