ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Handloom Weavers and Lockdown in Sualkuchi Cluster of Assam

After demonetisation in 2016, followed by imposition of the goods and services tax in the subsequent year, the COVID-19 lockdown has turned out to be a final nail in the coffin for the handloom sector in Assam. It has special importance in the informal economy of Assam since it is next to agriculture in creating employment opportunities. An examination of the Sualkuchi weaving cluster in Assam shows the many challenges the weavers, most of them women, face.

The authors would like to acknowledge comments received from the anonymous referee which has significantly improved the final article.

In a televised address to the nation on 12 May 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing the Atmanirbhar package lauded the success of khadi and handloom sectors that have produced a record number of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and masks as a model to be followed for building a self-reliant India. Behind these lofty claims, however, there is a sector grasping for breath. The demonetisation in 2016, followed by the goods and services tax (GST) and now COVID-19 with the lockdown imposed in the country have put at risk lives and livelihoods of lakhs of handloom weavers.

Importance of Handloom Sector

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Updated On : 24th Dec, 2020
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