SIRCILLA: Life was as complicated as the warp and weft of the fabric they weave for D Santoshamma and Mallaiah, till a few years ago. They struggled to make a living and we're neck-deep in debts. Thanks to the TRS government that provided employment to them by placing an order for Bathukamma sarees, the weaver couple is now leading a comfortable and dignified life.
This is the story of most power loom workers in Rajanna Sircilla district. Nowadays each and every weaver in the district is earning anything between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month, which is considered fairly good in rural areas.
According to information, the increase in employment opportunities hereafter the State government started purchasing Bathukamma sarees to encourage the Telangana weavers, is, in fact, luring the State weavers, who had gone out from their native places in search of employment, to come back to Sircilla.
In one such story, 52-year-old B Venkateshwar, who had moved to Bhiwandi in Maharashtra around three decades ago in search of livelihood, came back to Sircilla recently and started earning a decent livelihood. “We were facing a lot of problems in Bhiwandi due to lack of work. But after coming here, my income has increased and I am running a comfortable life. I am very grateful to KCR for giving us an opportunity to earn such decent incomes,” he said.
The situation was such in Sircilla that the power loom owners had to get workers from outside as there was a shortage of manpower. However, even the power loom owners are happy with the present situation as they have sufficient work and workers and are doing good business. “Bathukamma sarees have changed our lives completely. Earlier, we struggled to find work, but now we are struggling to meet the targets as the demand has drastically increased,” a power loom owner M Srinivas said.
One could imagine pace at which production works are going on in the district that the entire area is resounding with the noise of power loom machines. About 30,000 looms are being operated day-long to meet the deadline of Sept 15.
However, power loom workers are not happy with the working condition in the factories as they lack basic facilities. They have to stand for nearly eight hours in front of the power looms and that too under the heat as there are not enough fans. This is affecting the health of the workers and most of them fall sick regularly. They want the government to direct the owners to improve facilities in the units.
‘Soon to become a brand’
Sircilla sarees, currently known as Bathukamma sarees, will soon get a unique identity and brand image.
Disclosing this to the reporters here on Friday, Handlooms and Textiles department Director Shailaja Ramaiyer said that efforts would be made to promote Sircilla sarees as a brand. “We are planning to create a logo and brand for Sircilla sarees. Already the product is unique as no silk sarees in the country is weaved like it. We would create a separate image of Sircilla sarees,” she stated. According to her, branding would help promote the sarees on a large scale. This would help power loom sector a lot as they would be able to market the sarees on large scale, she opined.
All set for September 15
- 1.2 crores total of 1.2 crore sarees are to be distributed by Sept 15
- 50 lakh Sarees have already been sent
- Rs 300 crore As much as 94 lakh sarees, worth Rs 300 crore, are to be manufactured
- Sarees are made with 100% polyester filament yarn with zari border and stripes
- 92 lakh regular sarees of 6.30-metre length and 10 lakh sarees of 9-metre length are being produced
- There are 26,307 power looms and 275 warping machines in Sircilla power loom cluster
- Rs 1,600 croreSircilla power weavers have received orders worth Rs 1,600 crore worth gt orders till now