On a crisp Monday morning, the 16th of January, 2023, the bustling city of Imphal witnessed a remarkable event – the inauguration of the Capacity Building and Orientation program for Cluster Development Executives and Textile Designers, spearheaded by the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) under the Ministry of Textiles. Nestled in the vibrant ambiance of Panthoibi Arcade, Wangkhei, the clock struck 09:30 AM, marking the commencement of a transformative journey aimed at empowering key players in the handloom industry.

                The program, spanning over an enriching period of 10 days, served as a beacon of knowledge and inspiration for participants eager to delve deeper into the intricacies of handloom development and textile design. The distinguished roster of resource persons, comprising luminaries from various domains, lent their expertise and guidance, illuminating the path forward. Among them stood Shri Mutua Bahadur, the visionary Director of Mutua Museum, whose innovative approach to heritage preservation resonated deeply with the audience. Accompanying him was Shri K. Lamlee Kamei, the esteemed Director of Handlooms & Textiles, whose leadership in driving sustainable growth set a commendable precedent.

                   The academic realm found representation in the form of Shri Dr. S. Sureshkumar, a revered faculty member at VMIMS Manipur University, whose scholarly insights enriched the discourse. Complementing his academic prowess was Smt. Aurineeta Das from NIFT Shillong, whose creative ingenuity added a touch of artistic flair to the proceedings. Furthermore, Shri E. Jeeten Singh, the astute Managing Director of MHHDC Ltd., brought invaluable industry perspectives to the table, while Shri M. Ibohal Singh, Officer in Charge/ HoO, WSC, Imphal, shared his practical wisdom gleaned from years of hands-on experience.

               The academic and industrial facets seamlessly intertwined with the presence of Professor Rajmani Aheibam, whose interdisciplinary approach bridged the gap between theory and practice. Additionally, Shri Y. Shantikumar Singh, the dynamic Officer-in-charge of marketing at the National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd. (NHDC), provided invaluable insights into market dynamics and consumer behavior, enriching the participants’ understanding.

                 Among the attendees, the presence of Cluster Development Executives from the Paomata Handloom Cluster, represented by the diligent S. Adaha, showcased the grassroots engagement essential for sustainable development. Alongside, the participation of Textile Designer Mutum Shillori Devi underscored the importance of artistic innovation in driving the industry forward.

                Throughout the program, participants were immersed in a myriad of workshops, seminars, and interactive sessions tailored to their needs. Topics ranging from market analysis and branding strategies to sustainable practices and government initiatives were explored in depth, fostering a holistic understanding of the handloom ecosystem.

               As the curtains drew on this momentous event, the echoes of collaboration and camaraderie reverberated across the hall. The inauguration of the Capacity Building and Orientation program not only marked a significant milestone in the journey of handloom development but also heralded a new era of empowerment and excellence. With newfound knowledge and inspiration, the participants embarked on their respective paths, armed with the tools to shape a brighter future for the handloom industry.