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NEW DELHI: To overcome the challenges faced by handloom weavers due to the covid-19 pandemic, the government has taken several steps for their welfare.

To provide wider market access for handloom and handicraft sectors adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, government has on-boarded 1.5 lakh weavers and artisans on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to enable them to sell their products directly to various government departments and organizations, said Minister of State for Textiles Darshana Jardosh in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The minister said since it is not feasible to hold conventional marketing events such as exhibitions, melas, etc. due to covid-19 pandemic, Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) has been organizing International Fairs in virtual mode, facilitating marketing and sales of Handloom Products in the domestic as well as international markets.

"During the year 2020-21, 12 handloom fairs were organized by HEPC in virtual mode. The fairs have been attracting considerable attention from both domestic as well as international business entities. Besides, 53 domestic marketing events were also organized in different parts of the country for the weavers to market and sell their products," she added.

During August-October 2020, the Ministry of Textiles also organised 534 Chaupals in various states to apprise the weavers about benefits under various handloom schemes.

To enhance productivity, marketing capabilities and ensure better incomes, 124 handloom producer companies have been formed in different states, Jardosh said.

"Design Resource Centres (DRCs) have been set up in Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs) at Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati, through NIFT to build and create design-oriented excellence in the Handloom Sector and to facilitate weavers, exporters, manufacturers and designers access design repositories for sample/product improvisation and development," she added.

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