After boosting women’s hockey in India in reel life, will King Khan find time to revive Orissa’s Handloom industry in real life?
It could well be a possibility if the Planning Commission has its way. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan could take a break from promoting luxury brands and is expected to be roped in for the commission's “save the sari” campaign.
Anguished at the pathetic condition of silk weavers in Behrampur district of Orissa, Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed told Hindustan Times that cheap silk is taking over the traditional Behrampuri saree and silk dhotis, which were heirlooms. The shrinking market needs a revival and the answer to that is Shahrukh Khan who, the Planning Commission hopes, will Chak De handloom.
However, Khan is yet to respond to the Planning Commission’s offer and has also failed to find time to meet Union Textile Minister EVKS Elangovan.
Hameed had written to Khan a few months ago asking him to help revive the handicraft sector by being its brand ambassador. “We, at the Planning Commission, are trying to resuscitate national art and crafts….the only way to provide a lease of life to the handloom and handicraft sector is to make the youth connect to it. This can happen if an icon like you (Khan), someone whom they love, adore and respect, promotes the sector,” Hameed wrote in her letter.
In Varanasi, 42 weavers have committed suicide in the last two years.