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Nightwear makers forced to call it a day

Nightwear production is primarily a cottage industry in Pamidi, with five to 10 people employed in each unit.

Published: 20th July 2020 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2020 09:18 AM   |  A+A-

Garments

For representational purposes (File | EPS)

Express News Service

ANANTAPUR: Anantapur district’s Pamidi, known as ‘second Bombay’ for its flourishing nightwear business, now dons an uneasy calm as the coronavirus-induced lockdown has affecting the livelihood of thousands of people in the region. “Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, there has been no cloth, orders or work. Most people here only know how to stitch nightwear, and are worried about their future,” says BBS Rukman, president of the Garments Manufacturing Units Federation, adding that his unit, with a workforce of 100, used to export about 3 lakh nighties per month, and make a profit of Rs 2 per piece.

Nightwear production is primarily a cottage industry in Pamidi, with five to 10 people employed in each unit. There are about 200 such cottage units in the region that make nighties, petticoats, night pants and shorts. In the recent past the business of linen cut pieces too picked up momentum. In Pamidi, one can find nightwear being sold for anything ranging from `10 to hundreds of rupees. While the cost is low, there is no compromise on quality, traders say. But most manufacturing units have had to shut shop now, rendering thousands of people jobless.

Normally, the business season starts in February and ends in June when 90 per cent of the total population of 32,000 of Pamidi is busy manufacturing nightwear. The entire town reverberates with the sound of sewing machines during the peak season. Around 60 per cent of population in 33 villages of Pamidi mandal are also involved in nightwear production. Even people from Maddikeri and Dhone in the neighbouring Kurnool district are also employed in the garment making units. Not more than 10 per cent of units are working now.

The cloth for manufacturing nightwear is imported from Balotra in Rajasthan, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Erode, and finished products are exported across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The nightwear market in rural areas of the four states is dominated by Pamidi products under different brand names. Now, sewing machines in Pamidi have come to a grinding halt with no business. Most people engaged in the cottage industry are uncertain of their future. All those engaged in production of nightwear pray for the end of the coronavirus crisis so they can again earn a decent living.



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