HYDERABAD: A school dropout and a Padma Shri award winner for innovation, Chintakindi Mallesham needed just one little push to make his dream project come true. A project that would benefit several weavers earn a better livelihood. That push came in the form of a financial assistance package from the State government on Tuesday.
The Nalgonda-based inventor, who simplified the tedious and time-consuming process of weaving Pochampally sarees with his award-winning Laxmi Asu machine got Rs1 crore from the government to set up a unit that manufactures such machines. The sanction letter was presented by Textiles Minister KT Rama Rao on Tuesday.
A school dropout, Mallesham successfully invented the Laxmi Asu machine to reduce the hardships of his mother who was a weaver. While weaving a Pochampally saree takes up to 4-5 hours of manual labour, the machine reduces it drastically to just 1.5 hours. Till now, Mallesham was manufacturing the machines from his house in Alair. According to sources, there is a demand for 650 such machines across the State. Now with the government extending support, he hopes to meet the demand.
“These machines will be initially distributed to the handloom weavers of Pochampally in Nalgonda district, who are still weaving textiles in a traditional manner,’’ Rama Rao said.The money, Mallesham said, would be used to build an office and buy machinery and vehicles. Rama Rao said the government had extended the financial assistance to promote rural innovation. “We will not hesitate to extend more such assistance for Mallesham,” the minister added.
Laxmi Asu machine
Weaving a Pochampalli saree requires a hand winding process of yarn (known as Asu) involving about 9000 to and fro movements of hands. The Laxmi Asu machine mechanises the laborious Asu making process