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Implementing Agency

 

Bargarh
ORISSA STATE HANDLOOM WEAVERS CO OPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED
BHUBANESHWAR
(ORISSA)

 

About Cluster :

Bargarh Handloom cluster is spread over the entire Block of Bargarh, Attabira, Bijepur and Sohella. The cluster has 7158 numbers of looms as per the survey report of the zonal Handloom office taken up during the year 2004 out of which 5102 looms are working in 299 different villages. The main products of the cluster are cotton sarees of tie and dye and small amount of dress materials, lungis and napkins etc. The annual production is around 10 Crores rupees. The products of this area are mostly marketed in Orissa and National market. The cluster so to say represents Orissa in quantitative and qualitative Tie and Dye Cotton Sarees as no other clusters of other districts in Orissa produces such sarees.

Bargarh is one of the major revenue generating district, situated in western part of Orissa. It is 380 Kms far from state capital, Bhubaneswar and around 50 Kms far from Sambalpur Town. The town is well connected with road and railways. it is on the Road side of National Highway number 5 (Mumbai - Kolkata).  The nearest Air port is Raipur,       state capital of Chhatisgarh.

The weaving in the cluster by the traditional weavers’ community popularly known as "Bhulia" came in to existence during mid of 17th  century and with increase in their population, they spread to other nearby places. They initially belong to Rajasthan and were presented during the 14th  century to the ruler of Patna State, a king of Chouhan dynasty "Ramai Deb". Later on they were presented to the king of Sonepur during the 16th  century and scattered to the nearby district i.e., Bargarh in the next century.

The cluster consists sizable number of professional weavers (Non traditional) from Schedule Caste and  Schedule Tribe (Kuli caste) weavers, which in total accounts for 60 %. Generally these weavers are less skilled and engaged in production of Napkin, Lungi,  Sarees, Dhotis, etc.

Weaving with Tie dye in the cluster prior to 40”s was done with 40''/42'' looms operated with hanging slay and engaged in producing Kapta, Lungi and Napkins made of 12's/16's/20's cotton yarn. The yarns were dyed with vegetable colours. The main colours were Yellow (from Turmeric), Maroon (From bark of Aal tree), Blue form Nile and Black (From Hirakasi and Chakda Seeds). Fabrics of vegetable colours were sometimes not fast and ranges of colours were also limited, forcing the Tie-Dye production in to limited colours and so also the design. Such practice was on vogue till the mid of 40s when vat colour was first substituted for in place   of some vegetable colours.

The next major changes in the cluster took place with the introduction of twisted cotton mercerized yarn and synthetic colours in the early 60's. The looms started widening mainly to 52" width for normal sarees and other production and 90" for double bed sheet production. There were also few 60'' / 72" looms to accommodate weaving of middle-sized bed sheets.

Activities in the cluster started taking momentum with the involvement of Late Padmashree Dr. Krutartha Acharya and his four associates in the cluster area during 1942 and started their business with production on limited numbers of looms. Later he converted his business in to a co operative society named Sambalpuri Bastralaya, registered during the year 1954 under "Bihar and Orissa Co operative Societies Act" and established in Bargarh town. This is the first firm in the cluster, which took the leadership in weaving activities of cluster and stood as a milestone in its history.

To look after the interest of the industry, Office of the Assistant Director of Textiles, Bargarh was established and started functioning from 1962. Similarly Orissa Weavers Co-Operative Spinning Mill at Tora, a village adjacent to Baragarh started its functioning during 1971 and acted as a forward linkage to the industry by providing major raw material input i.e. yarn. Marketing supports from Bastralaya,/ Orissa State Handloom weavers Co-Operative society, functioning of a production branch of Orissa State Handloom Development Corporation at Bargarh to look after the weavers working out of the Co-Operative fold, availability of yarn at reasonable price at the door step encouraged the activities of the Weaver Co-operative Societies, which were the major firms and maximum in number, grew up mainly during 1980-1996. Inducing production agents to Corporation branch and gradual declining activities of OSHDC started giving birth to private entrepreneurs from early 90's and now a number of master weavers, traders are in the business. On the other hand, gradual reduction of Government subsidies, declining support from apex WCS, closure of Handloom Development Corporation, closure of local spinning mills, abnormal increase in yarn price, and mismanagement at the primary weaver co operative societies l are the main reasons of reduction in the number of active co-operative societies.

Unlike the Tie-Dye work of other states of India, the motif and designs of the cluster are infinite in number and every motif or design is categorized under a special caption. No design is let out without giving it a name. It shows the creative mind of the weavers of the region.