Jajpur, Sept 12 (LocalWire): Goplapur village in Jajpur district, now made famous by sprint queen Dutee Chand, was otherwise known for its tussar silk weaving, that received the Geographical Indication tag by the government of India in 2009.
‘The handicraft and textile department has decided to soon develop this tussar silk weavers’ village into a Bayan Gram (crafts village) under the Centre’s craft village scheme,’ said Ranjan Kumar Das, the district Collector of Jajpur.
Weavers from Nadia district of West Bengal had settled in this riverside village to eke out their living during Chaitanya’s time, about seven centuries ago.
The proposed crafts village is expected to revive the centuries-old silk weaving business and improve the financial condition of weavers.
The director of handloom and textile and other officials will soon visit Gopalpur to chalk out the plan.
Our idea is to generate more opportunities for skilled weavers by helping to form weaving units in weavers’ families where family members can participate.
The weavers will weave, display and sell their textile items in the proposed crafts village. Tourists will be able to see weavers’ working in their natural environment. They will be able to peep into the lives of weavers as well as purchase items from them directly. We will provide them proper training and marketing facilities,’ added the Collector.
‘The government will build proper roads, training centers, worksheds and houses for weavers and other infrastructures in the proposed crafts villages soon, he added.
‘Tussar saris of Gopalpur are famous due to the specialized weaving techniques adopted by the weavers.
These villages have plenty of skilled weavers with artistic dexterity.
Weaving is a skill that is passed on from generation to generation,’ said Narendra Kumar Behera, the secretary of Balukeswaer Weavers’ Cooperative Society of Gopalpur.
‘Weaving is an age-old tradition and the quality of the products are usually very good. From young boys to the elderly, all are experts in weaving saris, lungis, towels and other items. At least 300 families of Gopalpur and its nearby areas earn their livelihoods by weaving.
Considered to be among the oldest professions, the handloom weavers’ trade has declined by almost 50 per cent within two decades due to the advent of machinery coupled with slipshod attitude of the authorities. But now we hope to revive the handloom sector after the authorities decided to declare our village as a Bayan Gram,’ said Urmila Dutta, the president of Srikrushna Tusser and Silk Weavers Cooperative Society at Gopalpur.