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Hand Made Paper Industry

A wide range of raw materials, such as bamboo, wood grass, rice and wheat straw, jute, rags and waste paper are made available for paper and board making. The Indian pulp and paper industry has recently experienced enormous growth, coupled with consolidation due to the value addition activities like embossing embroidery on handmade paper etc. Tucked away in a village near Jaipur is the world's largest centre of handmade paper. The handmade paper industry in India offers considerable potential to meet the increasing demand for paper products in an environmentally sound way. Delhi is an ideal location to find both of these materials because it has a thriving rag trade, which provides abundance of old cloth and vast amounts of used paper. Handmade paper production has low capital investment, thereby promoting local entrepreneurship, it generates more local employment; it is an environmentally sound technology, depleting less resources and causing less pollution than paper mill factories; and it can produce certain specialized varieties of paper, for example, watermark, filter paper and drawing sheets, etc. The cost difference between handmade paper and millmade paper is marginal. The concern about the disappearance of forests, coupled with renewed interest in the quality of papers generated new study of the paper maker's materials, especially the pulps and fibers. With several technological changes taking place in the paper industry, the government has to rethink its land use policies and conservation strategies to protect the natural resources.
The Indian government has provided funds to different handmade paper supplying councils like KVIC (Khadi & Village Industries Commission) which tie up with banks and through banks provide funds to promising entrepreneurs who want to start handmade paper making business. Seven years back UNDP provided funds to improve activities further in handmade paper industry which gave a lot of exposure of that market. Also the government had come out with REGP plans (Rural Employment Generation Program) where the government gave loans to village people to start small handmade paper units thus boosting the rural areas to further develop. India is said to produce approximately Rs.21crore worth of handmade papers, providing full time employment to around 10,000 persons in the rural areas. Further to boost the industry KVIC sector conducts other major programs like Buyer-Seller Meet Cum Exhibitions at national level, Seminars Cum Workshops on Handmade Paper Industries etc, they also came out with Handmade Paper Making Multi Disiplenary Training Centres in Mumbai, Assam, Delhi which provides prospective entrepreneurs with Demonstration Kits for good quality products and also how to tab the naturally abundantly available local raw material. They also plan to carry out similar activities in northeastern states also to boost the northeastern regions of handmade paper industry. This year two major units, The Sthaneshwar Handmade Paper P.C.I.S. Ltd and Handmade Paper & Board Industries under the KVIC sector won National Award through the president of India for supplying best quality products. Mr.K.Sudhakar - Dy.Director I/C (Handmade Paper and Fiber industry) is of the opinion that the " Handmade Paper products is a real treasure with full of creative, innovative and thought provoking ideas and the industry has got an excellent future because of value addition and export oriented prospectives." The sector also plans to tab or explore the very big area of packaging industries be it for medicine packaging or fertilizer packaging etc. Even the Internal Trade Fairs like PAPEREX have been fruitful trade encouraging activities. This year in PAPEREX 2005, Carlton Coats Pvt.Ltd. were the ones to win the 1st prize. Each unit in India is said to roughly provide fifty crores worth material. Most of these units have become totally export oriented. Ever growing International market for Handmade Paper Though countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines have already emerged as `handmade paper giants'; India is being looked upon as the country with the maximum growth potential. The country is almost self-sufficient in manufacture of most varieties of handmade papers. There has been phenomenal growth in the export market for Indian Handmade Paper and its products, especially in the developed countries like the United States of America, West Germany, European Countries, Australia etc. The last decade witnessed rapid growth in export as a number of Handmade Paper and paper products manufacturing units have become hundred percent export oriented units and helped in increasing the foreign exchange of the country.