ANANTAPUR: Tankasala Hanumanthu, a garment factory owner in Rayadurg town famous for stitching jeans of various designs and brands, used to hire 150 employees in his unit for stitching, packing and supplying jeans to his customers. Every day, at least 600 jeans are manufactured in his factory. This was before March 21. After the lockdown was imposed, Hanumanthu stopped getting fresh orders and with his workers too facing troubled times due to the lockdown, he got all the cloth material with him stitched so that he can provide employment to them.
Rayadurg is known for its garment industry more particularly for stitching jeans of various brands and designs. The business runs into several hundreds of crores and there are nearly 20 units which employ at least 150 workers for stitching and related works on orders from big companies, while there are 400 families which stitch jeans in their houses and sell them in the market for decades together.
Since the lockdown, the industry has been witnessing tough times as there are no orders placed by companies while those who do the business on a small scale are not finding any market to sell their product. Garments manufacturing hub in Rayadurg is the largest garments manufacturing hub in the entire South India.
It provides employment to 50,000 people directly and indirectly. There are 15-20 units, where more than 100 people work, while around 400 units which are styled on the lines of family-run cottage industries. After agriculture, jeans production is the second largest employment avenue in the region and also it happens to be the semi-urban area with more skilled manpower. Almost every household in Rayadurg could be said to be involved in garment production and marketing.
Every household is involved in one or other aspect of jeans manufacturing like cutting, stitching, dyeing, ironing and packing. In a nutshell, it could be said that the entire town is one large production line. On an average 60,000 to 80,000 jeans are manufactured per day. Most importantly, 60-70 percent of the workforce in this jeans manufacturing hub are women and most of them are from the town and some also come from nearby villages. The jeans manufactured here are supplied to various branded jeans companies, malls in Hyderabad, etc. Further, jeans in large scale are exported to other parts of the country. Some noted branded companies give their work orders to Rayadurg.
Rayadurg Textiles Park in 74 Udegolam village near Rayadurg provides training and employment to youth in the region. Around 55 units were given permission and some of those units started production recently. At the time they started stabilising their foothold, lockdown has created problems. Rayadurg Jeans provides employment to around 200 families from Rajasthan, who are basically engaged in supply of packaging material for jeans, financing for cottage industries and marketing the finished products. Now, lockdown has seriously hampered the business.
“Due to lockdown, we are facing serious problems. There is no job for workers and the finished products could not be exported. Burden of bank loans and loans from moneylenders is giving me nightmares. Workers in my unit are finding it difficult to make ends meet. We have never seen such a crisis like this before,” said Ravi Sekhar, who owns one of the jeans manufacturing units in the town.
Sivappa, a jeans cutting master, says he has been working as a jeans-cutting master for the past 10 years and has never seen such a crisis. “With not being able to export the finished products, they are not in a position to provide work. We only know this line of work. Lack of work has created an ungainly situation for us,” he said praying for the restoration of normalcy at the earliest.
- 80,000 jeans manufactured per day on an average
- 70 percent of workforce in manufacturing hub are women
- 50,000 people given employment directly and indirectly at garments manufacturing hub
- 55 units given permission to run in Rayadurg Textiles Park