THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A decades-old handloom cooperative society in the capital district is on the revival path.Industries Department is working on a blueprint for the reopening of Veekshanam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society at Attingal which downed shutters in 2012.
Established in late 1970s, the cooperative was once a robust organisation employing over 100 persons, mostly women. The society complex on a 90-cent land at Alamcode includes two loom units, together having 110 looms, a dyeing unit and an office building.
The major products were bedsheet, lungi and towels. Hantex used to procure goods from the society for a long time.The advent of mechanised looms and the influx of power loom products in the market started affecting the society’s operations in the 1990s. In 2012, when the society closed down it had an accumulated debt of Rs 33 lakh. Attingal MLA B Satyan who leads the revival programme said efforts are on to get a moratorium on the debt recovery procedures initiated by the District Cooperative Bank.
The society also owes huge amounts to the Kerala State Electricity Board and Kerala Water Authority. They will be cleared to renew the power and water connections.
This, Satyan says, can be paid with the society’s deposit of about Rs 10 lakh with the DCB. A request will be placed with the bank to unfreeze the account.Based on a representation by the MLA, Industries Department has agreed to give Rs 4,000 each to renovate the looms. Some looms are beyond repair and it is expected that about 60 looms can be repaired.
Handloom wing of the Industries department has also put forward an attractive business proposal - to join the free handloom uniform project of the government for school students. The wing will give raw materials and procure the products.
A meeting to chart out the revival plan will be held on Monday. All stakeholders, workers, people’s representatives and officials will attend the meeting. At present the society is managed by a government-appointed administrator. “An administration committee will be formed from among the 300-odd society members. The Industries Minister has agreed to convene a high-level meeting to finalise the revival package,” Satyan said.