The Government of Kerala has come up with a scheme to create more jobs in the handloom sector and also ensure minimum wages to the workers in the sector. The state government is distributing handloom school uniforms to government school students—of classes 1 to 7— free of cost.
This scheme has encouraged the Union Textiles Ministry to push all states and Union Territories to adopt the same model to promote handloom textiles and generate jobs.
If implemented well, the Centre feels that the scheme will not only ensure jobs for many in the sector, but also secure them minimum wages. The weavers who have benefitted from the scheme in Kerala are more than satisfied, since their income has doubled. The students, on the other hand, are happy wearing free school uniforms.
The threads are being supplied by the state government, which is also paying the workers. And the scheme has led to many weavers’ societies becoming active. About 5,200 weavers have found jobs due to the revival of the Chendamangalam handloom industry itself. In addition, about four and a half lakh students from government schools have been receiving free uniforms every year. Since 2017, that is, in a span of about three years, approx. 70 lakh metres of handloom fabric have been created and distributed to benefit more than 15 lakh students.