Anita Dongre on why Indian handlooms are under threat

Designer Anita Dongre, who was facilitated by the textile industry for working extensively with Indian textiles, reveals that there is a sense of urgency amongst the designers to save our clothing heritage. 

Why is focus on Indian handlooms important?
We are under serious threat. A lot of the weavers’ kids are entering other sectors, wanting to do other work and not follow in their father’s footsteps. So, if all us collectively don’t do anything, there is a serious threat of the entire handloom industry being wiped out. Time is running out which is why I feel there is a sense of urgency in all of us to try and go back to the grassroot level and ensure that the current weavers take pride in what they are doing and their kids follow them.

How can designers help?
Whether you create a kurta or something western, the prime need is to create something using Indian textiles.

Which textile needs maximum attention?
The entire country. There are so many sectors that need attention. You have Benares, of course, but there is the north east, several places down south and more.

What kind of support do you need from the government?
We just need them to act as facilitators. We need them to introduce us to weaver clusters. The ministry knows all the information and they need to introduce us to them.