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A Study on the Socio-economic Conditions of Handloom Weavers
Handloom industry occupies an eminent place in preserving country's heritage and culture, and hence plays a vital role in the economy of the country. Production in the handloom sector recorded a figure of 6900 million sq. meters in the year 2011-12, which is about 25 per cent over the production figure of 5493 million sq. meters recorded in the year 2003-04. As an economic activity, handloom sector occupies a place second only to agriculture in terms of employment. The sector with about 23.77 lakh handlooms provides employment to 43.31 lakh persons of whom, 77.9 per cent are women, and 28 per cent belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Handloom sector contributes nearly 15 per cent of the cloth production in the country and also contributes to the export earnings as 95 per cent of the world's handwoven fabric comes from India. However, this sector is faced with various problems, such as, obsolete technology, unorganised production system, low productivity, inadequate working capital, conventional product range, and weak marketing links. Further, handloom sector has always been a weak competitor against powerloom and mill sectors. Against this backdrop, the present work attempts to make an indepth study into the life and misery of handloom households. It covers households located in select prominent areas of this sector.
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