Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district, renowned for silk weaving, may soon see a revival of its looms and a surge in demand for the silk saris as the district administration has chalked out major plans for revitalising the sector.
Apart from a ₹20-lakh budget for creating new infrastructure, the district administration will also take up cluster development to encourage silk looms and create a smart handloom outlet for the benefit of weavers in Kollegal.
A stakeholders’ meeting was convened recently by Deputy Commissioner M.R. Ravi, who initiated the concept, and nine weaving cooperative societies agreed to come together to take the initiative forward.
Mr. Ravi said the smart handloom outlet would be established at the old CMC office of the town and a detailed project report would be submitted to the lead bank for securing loans and financial assistance to implement the project.
He said it was estimated to cost around ₹20 lakh to put the infrastructure in place and that the potential for job creation and income generation was immense. The need of the hour was to create new design patterns to cater to the taste of the modern-day consumers, and in-house designers would be co-opted by cooperative societies to spin attractive saris, said Mr. Ravi.
A centralised outlet for sale of saris is at the core of creating a demand for the Kollegal silk, which used to occupy a pride of place among consumers of the region. Besides, Kollegal silk was popular in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu till recently and efforts would be made to trigger and rekindle its appeal. The product would also be promoted extensively among consumers in Karnataka. “We intend to create a brand for Kollegal silk on the lines of Mysore Silk,” said Mr. Ravi.
The revival initiative is part of a drive to promote sectors that traditionally had a strong base in Chamarajanagar and textile is one of them. This is expected to give a fillip to local industries besides empowering the community. Efforts would be made for online promotion and marketing of the products and e-catalogue of designs would also be prepared.
As part of its long-term strategy for extensive marketing, retail outlets dealing with Kollegal silk products would be established across all districts of the State on the lines of khadi. Such stalls would also be established in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as per the master plan for Kollegal silk revival.
Artisans will be exposed to latest designs and encouraged to attend workshops so as to get a feel of the customers’ tastes and preferences. Mr. Ravi said the government envisaged large-scale job creation. To start with, at least 400 people would benefit from the project and the turnover — on an initial spinning of around 3,000 saris — was expected to be around ₹1.58 crore, which can multiple manifold once an extensive marketing network was established to fuel demand, the Deputy Commissioner added.