Save Handlooms – Don’t Repeal the Handloom Reservation Act!

Please sign this petition to the Prime Minister drafted by LAILA TYABJI  of Dastkar Delhi, appealing against the proposed repeal of  The Handloom Reservation Act, which protects both an ancient body of knowledge and skill, as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of handloom weavers.


Image courtesy Facenfacts


Handlooms are India’s unique heritage and the livelihood of lakhs of skilled handloom weavers.

A move is on to repeal The Handloom Reservation Act, which since 1985 has been protecting traditional Handloom weaves, especially saris, from being copied by their machine-made and powerloom competitors. It was a small but important protection for Handloom weavers, who otherwise struggle to survive. Their yarn, their designs and their markets are under attack.

Now the influential powerloom lobby has agitated successfully that this Act be withdrawn. To say that because we have powerlooms, we don’t need handlooms does not make sense. The handloom can create thousands of distinctive regional weaves and designs that no powerloom can replicate, and a tactile wonderful drape that is also irreplaceable by mechanised means. Globally too, more and more ecologically sensitive international buyers look to India as a source for the hand made.

Each weave has a cultural tradition and a story, each linking us to our social and cultural roots. If we remove the protection and incentives for handloom weavers to continue weaving their traditional products and saris, we would suddenly be bereft of both our past and our future.

Handloom lovers, it’s time to raise your voice! Join us in lobbying against the repeal of The Handloom Reservation Act.


One thought on “Save Handlooms – Don’t Repeal the Handloom Reservation Act!”

  1. Petition Update from Dastkar:

    Public pressure and the love and emotional connect Indians at every level showed for handlooms have made the Government finally issue a statement that the Handloom Reservation Bill will not be repealed! Now on to stage 2 – enforcing proper implementation of the Act and asking for a policy review of the whole sector.

    The Government statement is bland, but of course the 2 meetings they mention are the ones where the powerloom lobby had actually almost won the day. That those decisions were overturned was because of all your voices, and the many committed organizations who came together to combat them.

    Thank you all for your support!!

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