A weaver services and design resource centre will be set up in Himachan Pradesh's Kullu town to provide a better platform for export of handicraft products in the international market, Union Commerce and Industry and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.He made this announcement at an interaction with handicrafts and handloom artisans under Seva and Samarpan campaign on the occasion of golden jubilee of the statehood in Kullu, some 200 km from the state capital.Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over the function.Goyal said the state has immense potential for handicrafts and skill upgradation of artisans, modern equipment and training would be provided to prepare qualitative new designs in the weavers service centre.He said more attention was needed to modernise the design, quality, packaging and marketing so that the weavers get better price for their products in the international market.The Union Minister suggested to organising of district-wise exhibitions of the handicrafts in big cities. He asked the weavers to get their trademark for which the Central government has reduced the registration fee by 80 per cent.
He also interacted with entrepreneurs of the district and distributed woodcraft, handloom, embroidery machines and certificates to local handicraft and handloom artisans.Thakur said necessary steps have been taken to encourage the artisans. At present, there are 13,572 registered weavers whose livelihood is related to the skill of weaving and embroidery.The handkerchief of Chamba along with Kullu shawl and cap and the shawl of Kinnaur had been given GI (geographical indication) tags. In order to facilitate online sales platform for weavers, an MoU has been signed with Flipkart for online sale of products.Thakur said there had been a big change in the design and quality of handicrafts and handloom products in the state in the last 50 years and thousands of families had made it a means of livelihood.He said Kullu handicrafts, especially caps and shawls, were recognised internationally. "When any head of state comes to India, the Prime Minister welcomes him with a Kullavi cap and muffler, which is a matter of pride for the state."The Chief Minister urged the weavers to preserve the traditional clothes as they were associated with the culture as well.