Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 25 (ANI): Kerala's traditional 'Mundu' and 'Kasavu sarees' may soon be spotted on the streets of United States with American Malayalees banding together for an initiative to revive the state's Balaramapuram handloom industry, by placing a bulk order to US during Onam festival.
The intervention came from Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan who held a meeting with American Malayalees in a bid to revive the ailing handloom industry in Kerala.
In order to led a helping hand to the handloom industry in Balaramapuram, which is in distress due to the Covid-19, it was decided to export handloom products to the United States during the Onam season at the behest of Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA).
Muraleedharan said that while the impact of Covid-19 was felt all over the world, the biggest setback was for the traditional industry, which needs to be addressed.
"It is necessary to provide assistance to protect the Balaramapuram handloom industry, which is moving forward in keeping with the tradition. It was with this aim that a meeting was conducted with expatriates and we all should come together to support the cause," he said.
He said that such initiatives are needed to promote Kerala's traditional sectors like Ayurveda, handloom and handicrafts.
As part of the initiative, CISSA is planning to export products directly from small weavers to the United States and in addition, an e-commerce site will also be launched on September 1 for the global marketing of Balaramapuram handloom.
"We are planning to export more than 20,000 products directly from small weavers in Kerala to the United States The handloom products from Balaramapuram will be exported to the US in the first week of July and the handloom fabrics worth about Rs 3 crore will be exported in four phases," said CISSA general secretary C.Suresh Kumar.
American Malayalees volunteered to buy all the handloom products tied up at Balaramapuram that couldn't be sold due to COVID-induced lockdown.
Representatives of various organizations informed in the meeting that they are ready to buy products from Kerala to help the people to tide over the COVID crisis.
"About 80 per cent of handloom products are sold during Onam festival. Onam was not held last year due to COVID-19. There is no guarantee that there will be an Onam market this year as well. So there will be huge losses. That's why we are developing plans to find markets internationally," said CISSA president GG Gangadharan.
Offering support for the initiative are also celebrities, like film actress Radha who tweeted, "Balaramapuram Handloom workers are facing lots of hardships and it is our responsibility to do our part in reviving and maintaining this rich heritage of our Gods own country Kerala! If our wonderful&dedicated NRI's can do this much effort,then why can't we native Keralites do our part? Let's dedicate this Onam for Balaramapuram Handlooms!". (ANI)