SIRCILLA: Sankranti is not a big festival in Telangana. But, the festival is bringing much joy in the lives of the distressed powerloom weavers of Sircilla.
At a time when they are waiting for a helping hand, the powerloom weavers and workers are going to get a big boost in the form of bulk orders for sarees and dhotis from Tamil Nadu. During Sankranti (Pongal in Tamil Naidu), the TN government distributes sarees and dhotis to the poor. According to sources, 1.73 crore sarees and 1.72 crore dhotis will be distributed and the TN government purchases sarees through private agencies. As luck would have it, Sircilla weavers got orders to supply a huge quantity of sarees and dhotis this time round. Representatives of these agencies are camping in Sircilla to place the orders to local weavers.
Powerloom trader Veldi Hariprasad is on cloud nine. “This (saree order) is a major boost for us. The Telangana government should also think about placing such orders to save the Sircilla powerloom industry,” he said.
Another trader, who was busy shifting the woven saree cloth to the godown, said that after a long time, the weavers are in a joyful mood producing polycot (a mixture of polyester and cotton) sarees for TN.
Proprietor of Sri Raja Ravi Weaving Company of Tamil Nadu Kankaraj Gopal said two other buyers are camping in Sircilla to procure the sarees. About 15 lakh metre saree is produced here every week. “We are providing the raw material. After collecting the sarees from traders, we will be transporting them to Tamil Nadu,” he said and added that orders for dhotis would be placed soon.
Thanks to the orders from TN agencies, about 50 per cent of the weavers are busy making the sarees. Workers earn more revenue from weaving sarees than normal cloth weaving. Powerloom unit weavers get ` 5 per metre on saree weaving while for a normal cloth, they get only ` 2 per metre.
“The Sircilla powerloom industry workers always suffer due to lack of work. But now, we are happy to have work on our hand to show our mettle,” a worker gushed.