A Study On The Economic Impact Of Handloom Co-operatives On Weavers

  • Dibyendu Bikash Datta Associate Professor, Department of Fashion Management Studies, National Institute of Fashion Technology (Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India) Kolkata
  • Bikas Agrawal Assistant Professor, Department of Fashion Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology (Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India)Kolkata
Keywords: Co-operative societies, handloom, weavers, socio-economic status, occupation.


A co-operative society is an independent people's association voluntarily united to fulfill their basic
economic, social and cultural requirements by means of a collectively owned and democratically controlled
activity. The co-operative movement was an awakening movement for handloom and its associated
activities. The handloom co-operative societies played a vital role in our country's economy. The societies
provided employment as a source of livelihood for millions of handloom weavers. It is an organization for
the deprived and innocent person and takes care of the challenges and the growth strategy by providing
strategic inputs on the sector they belong. The development and rapid growth of handloom co-operatives are
therefore of vital importance. The Government introduces several schemes to increase the competitive
strength of the handloom co-operatives. However, not all handloom co-operatives are well managed and
well run. The growth performance of a co-operatives establishes the development of other institutions,
middlemen, master weavers, independent weavers, and other beneficiaries. Well-performed co-operatives
safeguard the handloom sector since they defend the member weavers and afford a counterbalance with the
master weaver. The failure of the handloom co-operative societies will produce substantial losses not only to
members and society, but also to the community at large. The powerloom is a clear threat, but can be
challenged by unique handloom products that can be marketed locally or abroad, unlike powerloom articles.
Based on fieldwork, this study analyzes the distribution of income between handloom co-operatives
member weavers and non-member weavers.It also analyzes the variations in the expenditure on essentials
and traces out the difference in savings and investment pattern of members and non-member weavers. This
study was undertaken in Bishnupur Municipality, Bankura District, West Bengal. A three-stage sampling
procedure was followed for sample selection and the responses from the questionnaires are analyzed to test
statistically significant differences between the members and non-members. The results revealed that cooperatives
have contributed significantly to improve the economic conditions of the weavers. The nonmember
weavers should become member weavers to get the benefits as enjoyed by the member weavers and
increase their social and economic status in the society.