Imphal: Olympic silver medallist weightlifter Padmashree Awardee Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was felicitated with a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for her feat in Tokyo Olympics by the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles on the occasion of 7th National Handloom Day observation in Imphal.
The day was observed at the conference hall of in presence of textiles, commerce and industries minister at Secretariat North Block.
Congratulating Mirabai on her recent feat at the Tokyo Olympics Biswajit said Mirabai has become a symbol of empowerment and courage for young girls. He wished Mirabai success in her future endeavours.
Mirabai expressing happiness in attending the National Handloom Day celebration, said being a sportsperson wearing traditional attire in itself is a blessing.
Expressing gratitude to the vast number of weavers and artisans of the state, she said that it is because of their hard-work, talents and craftsmanship that we are able to promote and showcase our unique traditional dresses to the outside world.
Mirabai urged the public to use state’s handloom products and promote traditional attire.
Biswajit launched e-Texmanipur to help bring all textile related activities under one electronic platform from the supply of machinery to marketing and sale of textile related products.
He appealed to the public to promote handloom sector by using our traditional handloom products.
“We have already managed to list several of our traditional attires including Saphee lanphee under Geographical Indication (GI) and at the same time we are also in the process to get GI tagging for our traditional necklace Marei,” Biswajit said.
GI tagging will help in preserving and identifying our unique traditional attires, he added.
In support of handloom weavers, certain schemes like Delivery Scheme, Garment Fair, MEETAC, 2018 have been launched by the present government. The government has also inaugurated the Urban Haat, Yarn Supply Scheme of 20% subsidy, documentary film on handloom, Outreach to remote village, MANITEX, loom upgradation Scheme, Manipur Textile Processing Institute, Revival of Joint Director in Handlooms and Textiles, E-Market, the minister said.
A Coffee Table book has also been released and an e-Commerce platform of PaonaMart.Com was launched, he added.
“We should promote and help our artisans and weavers to help in employment generation in the state as handloom is second only to agriculture as a source of livelihood in the state. Handloom and handicraft has become an integral part of our society,” he said.
As part of the celebration the State Award for Handloom and Handicrafts were also distributed. State awards to outstanding five handicrafts artisans and two handloom weavers were conferred with cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each.
Merit awards to six handicrafts artisans and two handloom weavers with cash prize of Rs 50,000 each were also conferred. Financial awards of Rs.4,40,000 each were also given to three awardees.
The directorate also inspired ten other handicrafts artisans and six handloom weavers with consolation prize of Rs 10000 each for their contribution in the promotion of handloom and handicrafts.
Bsiwajit also appealed to all those eligible to take the Covid vaccine which is being provided free of cost.