HYDERABAD: Frustrated by the government’s failure to curb mill-made “handlooms”, the members of Weavers United Joint Action Committee have decided to launch the “Chalo Delhi” programme, to take up the issue with Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani. According to a press statement issued by the Weaver United JAC here on Wednesday, most of the handloom products being sold in the State are actually produced in mills with “handloom” tag.
Most of the shopping malls are marketing and selling imitation silk textiles from other states and 90 per cent of the products sold in the market are fake, the JAC statement said. “The State is witnessing many violations of the Handloom Reservation Act and they are being violated by all popular shopping malls. Prominent film actors are also doing false campaigns by promoting sales of cloth produced by mills in the name of handloom. By not taking action, we are killing the weavers skill and profession,” the JAC statement said.
"As per the Act, the mills can only produce white cloth and dye it into various colours and the sell the product. But now the handloom designs are being made in mills,” it said.“Firms from Kanchi, Salem, Sathya Mangalam, Kothuru, Coimbatore, Palani (Tamil Nadu), Hindupur, Madhireddy Palam, Yadiki, Jammalamadugu, Kadapa, Dharmavaram, Poddhuturu, Uravakonda (Andhra Pradesh) and Bengaluru, Yelahanka, Doddaballapur and Banaras (Karnataka) are sending imitation silks into Telangana with same handloom like designs. But they are not genuine handloom products," the JAC said.
Some of weavers also staged a protest in front of the shopping malls in the city while blaming the malls for weavers’ suicides. They are now planning to head to the national capital and request the Union minister for Textiles to ensure the Handloom Reservation Act is enforced strictly across the nation.
The protesting weavers claim that they are now being forced to turn street hawkers to make the ends meet.
"The handloom industry is a Rs 50,000 crore per annum market. The sale of so called handloom products by the big malls amounts to cheating the customers and the weavers. The Act should be enforced strictly and the Task Force officials should to stop these fraudulent practices," the weavers JAC statement added.