Assam: The Assam government’s ban on the sale of ‘Mekhela Sador’ and ‘Gamusa’ made on power looms has frightened Surat power loom weavers. Surat Textile Industry, which has always been a significant supplier to the North Eastern state, accounts for nearly 60% of Assam’s usage.
The future of over 1200 small and large-scale weavers has been jeopardised, according to the Surat Weaver Association. Furthermore, trade worth 500 crores has been jeopardised, with more than 150 crores in ready-made items and over 200 crores in dealing halted.
On February 28, the government of Assam banned Mekhela Sador sarees made in Surat, Gujarat.
According to estimates, finished goods worth 150 crores have been lost in Surat, while goods worth more than 200 crores have been sold, and traders have suffered significant losses as a result of the sudden prohibition with no warning. According to Surat dealers, the ban has been in effect for more than a week, and neither a single rupee nor any Assam traders are willing to negotiate.
— We Are Assam (@WeAreAssam) March 3, 2023
What is Mekhela Sador ?
A traditional Assamese sarong worn by Assamese women is the Mekhela Sador. Two large pieces of cloth are draped around the body. The ‘Mekhela’ is the bottom portion that is draped from the waist down. The chador is the top half of the two-piece gown.
Assam Government Notification on Mekhela Sador:
“You are all aware that the Registrar of Geographical Indication, Chennai has granted the GI application to the Gamosa of Assam in favour of Directorate of Handloom & Textiles of Assam on 13th December/2022,” the Assam Government stated. Gamosa from Assam is now prohibited from being produced outside of the state of Assam.”
“Further, according to the Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985, the manufacturing of Gamosa, Mekhela – Chadar, Dokhana, etc. are reserved for exclusive production by handloom. Some unscrupulous traders have been observed importing and selling cheap Power Loom Gamosa and other traditional items reserved under this Act.