Shirva village sarees win Mamatha Bannerjee's heart

Shirva village sarees win Mamatha Bannerjee's heart

Shirva village sarees win Mamatha Bannerjee's heart

Harishchandra Shettigar displaying a saree.

Shirva, a small village of Udupi district houses many handloom centres and one of the handloom centres owned by Harischandra Shettigar has been successful in creating sarees that was competent enough to woo the heart of Railway Minister.
The sample of sarees worn by Mamatha Bannerjee was sent to Karnataka handloom centre by Priyadharshini Handlooms in Kolkatta.

Kolkatta Mayor who was overwhelmed by the grandeur look and simplicity of Karnataka handloom sarees decided that these sarees precisely suit the personality of Mamatha Bannerjee. Sovan Chatterjee, a long-time loyalist to Mamatha contacted Priyadarshini Handloom showroom for similar varieties of sarees. Mamatha Bennerjee selected the one weaved at Shirva amongst several samples that had been sent to her.

Speaking to City Herald, Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (Mangalore) Project cum Quality Control Assistant Officer Shiva Murgan informed that there was a demand for 300 sarees from the Mayor of Kolkatta. “We have already dispatched 60 sarees. The remaining is under production and we will send them to our Handloom House in Kolkatta within 15 days. Through this outlet of Priyadarshini, the sarees will be sent to Railway Minister Mamatha Bannerjee,” he said.

Harishchandra Shettigar informed City Herald that he has by now weaved as many as 30 sarees to Railway Minister. “The pattern of saree is commonly known as 80 number saree and differs from other colourful sarees worn by women,” he informed.

The saree gives a magnificent royal look with weighty genuineness to the body of the personality it adorns. Nice thread work with fabulous artistic designed border is decked with simplicity. 80 number threads are used to weave the saree. In fact, Harishchandra Shettigar was overwhelmed with joy when he saw Mamatha Bannerjee wearing the same saree weaved by him while watching a television programme.

As he was not able to fulfil the demands of 300 sarees owing to his ill health, the
weaving work has been assigned to other handloom centres in and around Udupi. Purushottham Shettygar of Meejaru and Suresh Shettigar from Ambalapadi have joined hands with Karnataka Handloom house to furnish the demand of 300 sarees.

Weavers are paid Rs 38.20 per meter for a designed saree, while they are paid Rs 26.65 for the normal saree with minimal designs. Karnataka Handloom Development
Corporation now provides the raw materials required for weaving unlike earlier days, where the weaver himself had to purchase the raw materials required for the production.
Shettigar feels the handloom trade is not profitable enough to sustain livelihood.

Government has announced many welfare programmes for the development of the weavers, however, most of the benefits go to Weavers Association and rarely reach the actual weavers.

“If government attempts sincerely to reach out to the weavers who struggle hard to maintain their livelihood, there are hopes of keeping the trade alive. The generations ahead are not willing to continue with family traditions as the occupation lacks financial and life security,” he opined. Indeed it is time for government to come forward and take immediate measures to sustain the age old traditional occupation from getting extinct.