India to lead fashion world: Kalam

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Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, May 1: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has called upon fashion design students to make India a world leader in fashion technology. Delivering the graduation day address at NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion College here last evening, he said Tirupur could play a major role in making India a global fashion destination. India is well known for its arts, sculpture and culture. Various festivals bring out the best of designs in the hands of people.

The art is in the soul of every Indian who is influenced by his heritage, he said, adding that the aim should be to create a Brand India design using 'our cultural heritage.' Fashion design researchers should be able to study the psyche of new generation men and women and create the colour, texture and shape to suit individual tastes based on the wealth of 'our native artistic talent hidden in every part of the country'.

The aim of such Brand India design should be to penetrate the minds of men and women, spread across the world, through unique products. This will enable the country to tread its own path.

Original and creative work brings transformation and development and also enhances the quality of education, he said while suggesting the college to undertake research in knitwear products to ensure Tirupur maintained its competitive edge in the years to come.

''India has an unique tradition of fusion of multi-cultures and this is really an important advantage given by the country for newer designs,'' Dr Kalam said.

The aptitude for entrepreneurship should be cultivated right from the beginning and the institution should teach fashion design students to take calculated risks for the sake of larger gain, but within the ethos of good business.

The textile industry is very important for the Indian economy and the basic raw material is cotton.

India is the third largest producer of cotton in the world.

However, compared to the world average of 700 kg of seed cotton per acre, the country produces only 350 kg.

He said a few textile industries adopted multi-villages in Punjab, which has brought out a cooperative movement among the farmers, scientists, trainers and the industry for cultivating cotton in over 1,200 acre.

This project resulted in increasing the average seed cotton yield of the village from 450 kg per acre to 950 kg per acre.

If this was extended, India could definitely produce 25 per cent of the total world output of the quality cotton compared to the existing 12 per cent, leading to an additional revenue of over Rs 25,000 crore annually for the nation.

Dr Kalam said Tirupur is exporting knitted garments worth 2.5 billion dollars. The aim should be to enhance exports to five billion dollars in the next three years. This would need intense collaboration between knitwear fashion colleges, textile research associations, textile industries and the government.

This will also further enhance employment availability and prosperity of rural areas around Tirupur, he said.


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