The Handloom Sector is the second largest employer in India after Agriculture. The sector represents the continuity of the age-old Indian heritage of hand weaving and reflects the socio-cultural tradition of the weaving communities. The Government of India has been following a policy of promoting and encouraging the handloom sector through a number of policies and programmes. Which facilitate handloom weavers to meet the challenges of a globalize environment. Keeping in view all these factors the Government of India has decided to launch a new scheme i.e. Integrated Handlooms Development Scheme (IHDS) to be implemented during the XI Plan, for the development of the handloom clusters to facilitate the sustainable development of handloom weavers located in and outside the identified handloom cluster into a cohesive, self managing and competitive socio-economic unit.
The handloom sector is known for its heritage and the tradition of excellent Craftsmanship. It provides livelihood to millions of weavers and craftsperson’s. The industry has been able to survive due to its inherent strengths like flexibility of production in small quantities. Openness to innovation in designs and materials, low level of capital investment and immense opportunities for designing fabrics, government’s continuous support in terms of according priority status to the sector.
Some of the Target and thrust areas of the Government are: