CHENNAI: The ongoing lockdown due to Covid-19 has upended lives of several handloom weavers in Tamil Nadu. They lament that they are yet to receive the financial aid of Rs2,000 that the State government had announced.
Handloom is a flourishing industry in the State and weaving is a significant economic activity here, as Tamil Nadu is renowned for its silk sarees, dhotis and towels. “Before the onset of coronavirus, we would earn around Rs4,000 per month. Ever since March, situation worsened and we haven’t been receiving even a penny. None of government’s promises have taken shape,” said Sekar, a handloom weaver from Anakaputhur.
As many as 58 handloom weavers from the State approached Centre’s Development Commission of Handicrafts. The officials concerned said that the request for financial aid was then forwarded to Chengelpet collectorate, from where weavers are yet to hear any affirmation.
“Andhra Pradesh has provided Rs 24,000 for each weaver’s family. Our State has only been boasting about the quality or our weaves, but nothing has been done for them” said P Vinitha, another handloom weaver.
S Saroja rues that she had to sell her gold to feed her children. “I am the sole bread winner of the family. I have sold all the gold to feed my children. The present condition has left me with nothing and I am crippled with bad debts.”A senior official from Handlooms and Textiles department said, “It has been a week since we have started distributing government aid. Out of 76,000 weavers, we gave the amount to 40,000 weavers already. Rest will be disbursed in a couple of days.”