Report by Nishapati Nayak, Sunabeda: The Third National Handloom Day was observed at the permanent campus of the Central University of Orissa, Sunabeda today, with the objective to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry and its contribution to the socio-economic development of the country in general and to promote handlooms, income of weavers and enhance their pride in particular here today at its Sunabeda campus. The programme was organized by the Directorate of Field Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with the Central University of Orissa, Koraput and the Ministry of Textile, Government of India. Prof. Sachidananda Mohanty, Vice-Chancellor of the University inaugurated the programme as the Chief Guest and delivered a talk on Importance of the Handloom Industries in the social economic development of the country. Shri. Mahendra Prasad Jena, Field Publicity Officer, Bhawanipatna delivered the welcome address. Among others Shri. Navneet Singh Sekhawat, Technical Superintendent, Weavers Service Centre, Bhubaneswar and Shri Narendra Kumar Suna, Sub-Registrar, Co-Operative Society, Koraput addressed the programme. On this occasion Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mohanty felicitated six eminent weavers of the region.
Prof. Mohanty, in his energetic address emphasised on the importance of the handloom industry in the 18th century and its struggle during the British era. He also talked about how the British East India Company took over the Indian civilization. He said “Handloom is the symbol of freedom of our country and to know handloom we need to discover our civilization, our culture we need to discover India. We need to discover our handloom together, discovering handlooms means discovering our nationalism. To celebrate handloom means to celebrate the great nation called India”. He motivated the students to know the glorious history of the country and live life with patriotism and feelings of nationalism. He said ‘Central University of Orissa is the lamp of education in this region’.
Prof. Mohanty felicitated six eminent weavers of the KBK region on this occasion including one Sant Kavir awardee. They are the recipient of national award for ethnic handloom product Shri. Madhu Panika, Sh. Bidyadhar Mahanta, Sh.Gobardhan Panika, Sh. Khagapati Panika, Smt. Jema Panika and Shri Baidyanath Samarath.
Shri Jena in his welcome address requested and motivated the students to create awareness regarding the use of handloom. Mr. Suna in his address talked about the glorious history of handloom in Odisha and appealed the gathering to recognize our tradition and culture for the development of the handloom. Mr. Sekhawat talked about the objectives to promote handloom as it creates employment opportunities at the rural area and generate employment opportunity to the women’s at the rural villages of the country. He also talked the important steps taken by the Government to promote the handloom.
Dr. Phagunath Bhoi, Public Relations Officer delivered the vote of thanks. Ms. Mercy Mousmi Takri, student counselor compeered the programme. All the students, faculty and staff of the University and weavers of the region were present at large.