Hearing the name Varanasi the first thing that comes to mind is “Varanasi Saree”. They are exclusive made here. Varanasi city is also called "Benares" and the serve "Banarasi Seree" . These are considered among the finest sarees in India. They are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine natural silk and opulent embroidery, and being highly sought after. However Banarasi silks saries are the world famous and the most sold ones.
Traditionally, Banarasi sarees are woven on jacquard pit looms. These handlooms were used for weaving silk at Stonehouse in Lanarkshire in the 19th century. It has a Jacquard attachment which allows complex patterns to be woven. When I visited these small workhouses in Varanasi I was really surprised to see childen behind the handlooms. They were working there along with their fathers and grandfathers. It well known that all parents want to educate their children but not all of them have choice. Since the corona years came the situation for these small workhouses is terrible.
According to the ILO, there are around 13million engaged in work between the ages of 7 to 17 years old. Unfortunately when children are employed or doing unpaid work, they are less likely to attend school or attend only intermittently. This trapps them in the cycle of poverty.
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