The practice of weaving Khadi fabrics, a handwoven natural fibre made with cotton, is on the verge of extinction in Okhaldhunga district, as imported fabrics are easily available in the market.
Several women across Okhaldhunga had been involved in weaving Khadi fabrics as an ancestral profession using local raw materials for a long time. While locals adored the clothes of Khadi earlier, the imported fabrics, which are cheaper than hand-woven local ones, have compelled them to quit their ancestral profession. As a result, only fewer women are now giving continuity to the occupation.
“Almost every house used to weave Khadi in the past, but now it is on verge of extinction. It is a sad moment to witness how people have left the tradition now,” said 62-year-old Asar Maya Rai.
A resident of Ward 4 of Manebhanjyang Rural Municipality, Asar Maya has been weaving Khadi for as long as she remembers and finds peace in continuing the old practice.
Asar Maya and one of her sisters Prem Kumari Rai, who is a resident of Dhyaplu village, are the only ones in Okhaldhunga to give continuity to the Khadi weaving practice.
A training to weave Khadi was provided to the women of Mumlu village, but they were not eager to apply the skill they obtained into practice.
“An improved technology is there to help in Khadi weaving now. While people prioritise imported fabrics on formal occasions, the demand for Khadi to make clothes for a different culture, festivals and other special rituals is still high,” said Asar Maya.
Source : TRN,