Greetings. We just completed a marathon eight-day change making event on Anchoring innovation in handloom weaving in India impacting millions of weaving families’ futures and livelihoods. This international symposium was held from 11-18 November 2018 in Chirala, Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh. The event is a sum of many happy moments and contentment.


At REEDS we feel privileged for the opportunity to become an international platform, probably first and largest of its kind, for a dialogue on the best means to promote futures and livelihoods in handloom weaving, thanks to Universities of Maastricht and Leiden of Netherlands; Dr. Annapurna Mamidipudi of Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin; and Prof Wiebe E. Bijker of Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

We have had weavers from across the country and abroad; academicians from several renowned universities in the world debating the ways and means to make the lives of the weavers meaningful.

If numbers could tell a story, the number of weaver families reduced from 1.24 million in the 1970s to 0.44 million in 2010; and over 1,500 weavers committed suicide in the last three years across the country. Yet, weaving and crafts is one of the biggest differentiators of India. This sector is considered as the second largest income generating activity after agriculture in rural India. Sadly, this extraordinary craft is in decline and weavers are struggling. We just cannot be blind to the rapid down-fall that might even lead to its extinction of country’s richest tradition and resource. At REEDS we are ever enthusiastic to work with Rural livelihoods. This conference has strengthened our resolve. We would continue to make our efforts to facilitate the process of access to resources that weavers need in reviving the rich craft traditions and build it as a proud national industry.

We believe our efforts will not only help preserve our weaving and crafts heritage that has been an integral part of Indian culture and economics; referred to as the 'fabric of Indian independence'; but more importantly, enable the weavers to fulfil their dream of decent work and dignity – a step towards help achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 8: ‘…….. full and productive employment and decent work for all’. .

We are thankful for the immense support we have received from various quarters and specially recognize the hospitality the Chirala weaving community extended to make the event memorable.


World Toilet Day: Does the subject of toilets make you laugh? Well, take a second to imagine what life would be like without safe access to a toilet! 19 November was World Toilet Day. The theme for this year World Toilet Day is: 'When nature calls'. When nature calls… …we need a toilet. But billions of people don’t have one. According to UN Water, worldwide 4.5 billion people live without "safely managed sanitation".

World Toilet Day is about taking action to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030. This is part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: ‘ensuring clean water and sanitation for all’. ‘When nature calls ….’; we must listen to and act upon. We must focus our efforts more intense to provide universal access to toilets, leaving no-one behind. Access to a toilet means more than a place to go. Access to a toilet empowers people in need with health, productivity, privacy, safety and more importantly dignity.

Dr. Ravi K Reddy
Secretary, REEDS,

20 November 2018

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