PM thanks Padma Awardee Biren Kumar Basak for his gift

Insight Online News

Kolkata, Nov 13 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday recalled his interaction with reputed weaver and Padma Awardee Biren Kumar Basak and thanked him for his gift.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Shri Biren Kumar Basak belongs to Nadia in West Bengal. He is a reputed weaver, who depicts different aspects of Indian history and culture in his Sarees.” “During the interaction with the Padma Awardees, he presented something to me which I greatly cherish,” Mr Modi added.

Septuagenarian Basak, who used to sell sarees going door-to-door in the 1970s with his brother in Kolkata, is one among the 102 Padma Shri awardees this year. Basak is one of the fewest individuals working on the market whounderstands the intricacies and aesthetics of this famed attire. Moreover, he is in the business as a Traditional Sarees manufacturer for five decades (since 1970s). In these years, he has attained buyers all around the world, making him a self-made millionaire.

Coming from a small town Nadia district of West Bengal, Mr. Basak has single-handedly revolutionized the Handloom Sarees industry in Bengal. At the age of 12, he started weaving Tangail sarees using attachments and traditional borders like lotus, lamb, and vine patterns alongside fish-skin patterns.

In 1970, he finally started his own business and took a loan of RS 10, 000 by mortgaging the house that one of his brothers purchased in 1968 in Phulia. He wanted to branch out his business and reach more people to gain recognition.

Alongside his brother Dhiren Kumar Basak, he then started traveling to Kolkata to sell bundles of sarees. They used to take a local train to the city every day at 5 a.m. and went from door to door carrying almost 90 kgs of goods in their shoulders. There wasn’t much transport available then and they used to walk for several kilometers. They started early and returned late. The same struggled ensured every day for them.

Basak started his career with Re 1, weaving and selling handloom sarees, and today his annual turnover is Rs 25 crore. His main objective is rural development and at least 5,000 weavers work for him now.

Some of his clients are Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Sourav Ganguly, noted classical musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, among several others. Satyajit Ray and Hemanta Mukhopadhyay were also his clients.


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