Arabinda Kumar Padhee, the senior secretary of the Odisha Handloom, Textiles and Handicrafts department, has sent a letter to all district collectors inviting them to encourage government workers to wear state handloom items to work at least once a week. According to Padhee’s letter to the DCs, the action intends to support Odisha’s skilled weavers and maintain their exquisite craftsmanship in addition to creating a supportive market environment.
His letter reads, “I wish to make a heartfelt appeal for your consideration to request government employees working in your districts and others, to ‘voluntarily’ wear hand-woven fabrics at least one day a week. You may decide the day of the week, depending on local factors, and holding cultural considerations, if any. Those in uniform or official dress code may please be excluded from this endeavour.”
“I am happy to note that a few of you have already taken the lead in this regard. In the Departments of Agriculture & FE and Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts, officials and staff have already started wearing hand-woven products on most of the weekdays. This is indeed heartening,” he adds.
“Our culture is our brand. Odisha’s handlooms have always been the hallmark of showcasing the rich cultural and vibrant artistic heritage of the state. The handloom products of Odisha have received national and international acclaim for highly artistic design, craftsmanship and durability. To establish their uniqueness, nine different handloom products have already received GI tags,” the letter elaborates.
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