India stands for its culture and heritage. Since aeons, our culture haswitnessed myriad changes. From Mughals to Rajputs to Portugese toBritishers, each one has left its indelible mark on Indian culture. One cardinalaspect of our culture are the various dresses worn in different parts of thecountry. And Indian saree is one such dress which is common to every stateand the womenfolk of India. Amidst plethora of sarees, Banarasi sarees arehailed as the topnotch in quality and design. Banaras silk sarees are anintegral part of the Indian sartorial landscape.
Weavers are the soul of the Banaras handloom industry. They are the oneswho toil day and night to give us exquisite piece of art and skill. But todaythis industry is facing a major downturn. There are numerous people whohave been denied their share in the development process. One such group isthe Weavers of Varanasi. Their poverty prevents them from satisfying theirbare necessities. Their obscurity prevents them from making their sufferingsknown. Their illiteracy prevents them from fighting against the injustice.
Some sta tis tics:
There are about one lac handloom weavers at Varanasi, presently 40,000 areactive. In addition, there are hundreds of traders, dyers, designers, card-makers and ancillary support providers. The annual turnover (at Varanasiprice) is estimated at around Rs.400 crores. While being concentrated inVaranasi City, the activity has spread to surrounding villages.70% of weaver force is in the city. 90% of city weaver force is Muslim, while30% of weaver force in villages is Muslim. The main product of Banaras Handloom Cluster is saree and its dominancecontinues. The other products are:
Fashion accessories, eg, stole, scarves
Saree Streams: Yarn and Look The saree segment typically consists of two subsequent.
Satin-based work (largely Karnataka yarn)
Organza type work (largely Chinese yarn)