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Better understanding of Indian textiles on a global level today: Anita Dongre

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Anita Dongre

New Delhi, Oct 8 : Designer Anita Dongre, who has moved one step closer to her dream of empowering the women of India by opening the fourth tailoring unit in the village of Modgaon in Maharashtra, says there has been a sense of urgency within the industry to save the country’s dying crafts. She feels there is a better understanding of Indian textiles and slow fashion on a global level today.

“There has been a sense of urgency within the industry to save India’s dying crafts. It’s great to see not just the industry but also the government taking steps towards reviving handloom and making it relevant to the current generation,” Dongre told IANS in an email when asked about her take on how the scene of handloom has changed over the years.

“Handloom is finally getting its long due recognition but I still think we have a long way to go and a lot more to do,” she added.

The tailoring center located at village Modgaon, Dahanu Taluka, Palghar District, Maharashtra, is established under the aegis of Anita Dongre Foundation as part of its women empowerment initiative in collaboration with Tribal Development Department – Government of Maharashtra, Modgaon Gram Panchayat and Palghar District Collector Office.

The House of Anita Dongre Ltd. deploys its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects through its non-profit arm Anita Dongre Foundation (Section 25 Company) in multi-stakeholder partnership and collaborative mode in order to improve the quality of life of its stakeholders – including inter alia communities.

The foundation plans to have 50 such communities tailoring centers across the country in the next three years and is exploring opportunities to collaborate with like-minded and credible organisations.

So where do you see handlooms and textiles moving from here on globally?

“There is a better understanding of Indian textiles, crafts and slow fashion, on a global level today. It’s amazing to see the progress we are making towards this as an industry. Social media also has been a huge enabler for us to tell our stories of Indian handlooms and textiles.

“Grassroot as a brand was born out of this very need to tell India’s craft story and make it relevant to the global consumer of today. It was always my dream to showcase Indian handlooms and crafts on a global platform and the launch of our flagship store in New York brings that purpose further to life,” she said.

Talking about the new tailoring unit, the designer said Anita Dongre Foundation works with the local governments and village gram panchayats to create local Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and bring livelihood or employment opportunities to their own villages.

“Empowering the people of these villages by giving them access to a dependable source of income, in their locality is critical to arrest the tide of migration to cities. Modgaon is the fourth location where we have setup a community garment tailoring unit (in addition to Charoti, Jawahar and Dhanevari) in the Palghar District of Maharashtra.

“There are no skilled artisans or weavers in these villages – the women from these villages are unskilled labour who we skill in garment tailoring on industrial sewing machines by setting up such training-cum-production centres, and this has been our key objective,” she said.

Added Dongre: “During the three months of training period, we train the women in basic and advanced skills of cutting, sewing and finishing garments and during this period every trainee is paid a stipend. Once the training is complete, we supply the center with fabrics and pay the women for the tailored garments on fair per piece rate basis so as to provide them with regular livelihood opportunities.

“Through this initiative, we mobilise women to create opportunities for skill development, employment and entrepreneurship. We currently support livelihood for over 160 women.”

(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Why Mallya’s extradition order a victory, asks Rahul

The verdict came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 11 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned the BJP-led government for terming the ruling of a British court to extradite fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India as a “great day” and said there was no major victory as he had “stolen” Rs 9,000 crore.

“Why is that a major victory, why are they taking it as a major victory? The question here is the following: the farmers of this country are committing suicide daily, they do not have access to the Indian banking system. Vijay Mallya stole Rs 9,000 crore,” Gandhi replied to a question when asked that BJP government is claiming victory over the decision of the UK court allowing Mallya’s extradition.

He was addressing the media at Parliament House Annexe after an all-party meeting.

“Nirav Modi has stolen Rs 35,000 crore with his friend Mehul Choksi, who are close to the Prime Minister and the list goes on. So, it is not question of Vijay Mallya being extradited, it is the question of the Indian banking system being handed over to Modi’s friends…it’s called crony capitalism,” Gandhi added.

Gandhi’s remarks came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the UK court’s judgement, calling it a “great day for India”.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in the UK on Monday gave its ruling following a prolonged litigation involving Mallya, who fled India in March 2016, that he must be extradited to India where he is accused of committing bank frauds amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.

The verdict came six days after British national and middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.

Mallya has, however, repeatedly denied fleeing India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.

Proceedings are on before the Mumbai Special Court against Mallya under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Late in 2017, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. He is currently on bail in London.

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Founding fathers envisaged Ram Rajya, Modi govt working for it: Amit Shah

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New Delhi, Dec 10 :Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Monday said the founding fathers of the nation had envisaged to establish a “Ram Rajya” and the Narendra Modi government is working to make it possible.

“One of the stated goals set by the Constituent Assembly for the newly established Republic of India was to have ‘Kalyan Rajya’,” Shah said at the release of the book “Narendra Modi: Creative Disruptor” penned by R. Balashankar.

“Some people translate ‘Kalyan Rajya’ as ‘welfare state’. But if you go through the debates in the Constituent Assembly, you will find the word Kalyan Rajya has not been used in the sense of a welfare state. In fact, the word has been used as an alternative to ‘Ram Rajya’ in order to avoid this word at that time,” Shah said.

Stating that a “yugantkari parivartan” (epoch-making change) has come ever since Modi became the Prime Minister, Shah said the Indian politics was suffering from festering wounds of “casteism, dynastic rule and appeasement”.

“This is the first non-Congress government that has got full majority and has ended that era. The mandate has been given to not run the government but to change the nation. And we are doing that,” he added.

Shah said the Modi government also ended several dilemmas that plagued the earlier governments, such as “if the government would work for farmers or industrialists, if it would work for the villages or the cities or it would work for the poor or the rich”.

“Our government ended these dilemmas. It brought unprecedented reforms but it did not lose the sight of Kalyan Rajya,” Shah said.

Taking a dig at the Congress governments, the BJP President said the Modi government stayed away from populist measures and took tough decisions in the interest of the country.

He also accused the Congress Prime Ministers of doing “injustice” to national security by “overstating” that India was a peace-loving country, for the sake of building “personal image” (that of a peacenik).

In an apparent jibe at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Shah said: “You may be an economist. We respect that. But the country is being more efficiently run by a ‘chaiwala’ (tea vendor, an allusion to Modi).”

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Leaders of 21 parties resolve to work together to defeat BJP in 2019 Polls

The leaders accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to put “a conspiratorial lid over multiple corruption scams” like Rafale and becoming “an abettor to the escape of bank defaulters”.

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New Delhi, Dec 10 : Senior leaders of 21 opposition parties including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, TDP, AAP, NCP and the DMK met here on Monday and resolved to work together to “defeat the BJP-RSS” in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and to expose the ruling party’s “corruption”.

The leaders, who included UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, N. Chandrababu Naidu and Arvind Kejriwal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and DMK leader M.K. Stalin, did not specifically talk of a grand alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but said they will come out over the next few months with “a programme of work” anchored in complete transparency and accountability.

The meeting, which took place a day before the start of the winter session and before the results of assembly polls in five states, was not attended by the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.

In a joint statement later, the “leaders of secular parties” reaffirmed their steadfast resolve to “confront and defeat the forces that are subverting our Constitution and making a mockery of our democracy”.

They talked of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and said “innumerable deficiencies, failures and plausible doubts” on their neutral functioning have raised “a question on the neutrality of poll process itself” and this needs to be redressed without question and without delay.

“It is in the interests of safeguarding and strengthening our constitutional republic and people’s livelihood that this Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)/ Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is ousted,” the statement said.

The groundwork for the meeting had been done by TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who had left the ruling National Democratic Alliance earlier this year. He has been meeting leaders of various parties to bring them together against the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Similar efforts have been made in Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the past.

The leaders accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to put “a conspiratorial lid over multiple corruption scams” like Rafale and becoming “an abettor to the escape of bank defaulters”.

The meeting was informed in-between that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel had resigned and the leaders accused the government of a “sinister attack on the autonomy of RBI”.

“We deprecate the systematic attack by the government on India’s economy through a select band of government nominees arbitrarily dictating the monitory policies and compromising RBI’s institutional integrity,” the statement said.

National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, CPI-M General Secretary Sitram Yechury, Nationalist Congress Party’s Praful Patel, Janata Dal-Secular leader Danish Ali, All India United Democratic Front’s Badruddin Azmal, Muslim League’s P.K. Kulhanikutty, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)’s Babulal Marandi, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Ajit Singh, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, CPI’s D. Raja, Revolutionary Socialist Party’s N.K. Premchandran and Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Jitan Ram Manjhi were also at the meeting.

The leaders said India needs a government that cares for working class, farmers and farm labourers, makes education accessible and affordable, creates jobs, provides fair wages, empowers weaker sections, respects autonomy of institutions, ensures faster and inclusive economic growth, addresses concerns of small traders and enterprises that have been “devastated by demonetisation and the ill- planned implementation of GST”.

The leaders said there is need to banish the current all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation and called upon liberal, progressive forces to join them in their battle to save the Constitution.

They accused the Modi government of benefiting crony capitalists and re-imagining the past.

Gandhi later told reporters that there was “consensus that BJP’s corruption in Rafale, demonetisation and other areas is simply not acceptable and we are going to fight it and do whatever we can to expose it”. There was a consensus that we are going to work together to defeat the BJP-RSS combination, he added.

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