Handlooms for Livelihood in North-Eastern Region : Problems and Prospects


  • Ch. Victoria Devi North - Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management, Dolabari, P.O Kaliabhomora Tezpur: 784027


The paper explores the problems and scope of handloom sector in north- eastern region of India for economic upliftment of the people. In NE region, women dominate the weaving occupation but in other States like Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Haryana and Karnataka, men play a major role in weaving while women are involved in pre-weaving. The women weavers of NE region perform multiple roles of being handloom producers and trading of handloom products. As there are no cloth mills, or large number of powerlooms in the region, weavers put their hard labour by working manually. In the process of earning income, they preserve our culture and heritage by laboriously producing traditional clothes. The integral role of women in handlooms in industrially backward States of NE region is worth studying. Handlooms being a traditional occupation, women find it convenient and safe to work. The region has contributed an important share in handloom sector in terms of number of employed or owning of looms. When the number of handloom weaver households decline in India, the region recorded increase of number of weaver households from first (14.6 lakh) to the third (15.1 lakh) census. But the sector is not progressing as expected. Income from handlooms and its contribution in the household economy is less as compared to other States. It is largely dominated by domestic production and part time weaving. Various issues like social and cultural aspects, demographic profile, production, employment, market structure, technology and skill are analysed for understanding the present condition of handlooms. The factors contributing in promoting handloom sector are identified so that mobilisation can be done for promoting it as a livelihood activity.


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How to Cite

Victoria Devi, C. (2014). Handlooms for Livelihood in North-Eastern Region : Problems and Prospects. Journal of Rural Development, 32(4), 427–438. Retrieved from http://nirdprojms.in/index.php/jrd/article/view/93328