Nalgonda: The initiatives of the State government to promote handlooms and provide marketing facility have increased the income of weavers multiple fold.
The measures were successful in bringing the weavers, who left their traditional business and eking out a living by working as security guards, sales boys in the shops, back to their caste-based profession.
While there were 1,200 maggams in Nalgonda district in 2014, the number increased to 1,927 by 2017, registering a 40 per cent increase.
Hundreds of weavers from Chandur, Yallanki and Siripuram migrated to Hyderabad and other cities in search of the livelihood since the weaving was not even fetching them Rs 4,000 per month.
The State government’s push for handlooms and other factors have created a huge demand for the weaved products in the market nationally and internationally. Catching the situation, the weavers were taking up new designs in tune with the trend.
Speaking to Telangana Today, a weaver from Chandur, Ganji Srinivas, said he had entered the profession 1999 and left it in 2002 due to low income. Then, he used to earn just Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month by weaving the cloths. Hence, he quit weaving and worked as a driver and supervisor on a bore well and others. Since 2015, handlooms sector has witnessed a rapid change due to the focus laid by Minister for IT KT Rama Rao on the field. With this, Srinivas again took to his maggam business and is now earning Rs 20,000 per month.
Another weaver from Chandur, Chilukuri Bixapathi, who entered the profession at the age of 14, said he made the highest money in the last three years in his 14-year experience in the field. In fact, he quit the work in 2008 when his income was below Rs 4,000 per month.
“After quitting the weaving, I worked in several companies in Hyderabad for livelihood. The initiatives taken up by the State government have created a ray of hope in me and I came back to my original profession,” he maintained. He said he made a U-Turn three years ago and was earning Rs 25,000 per month. Thanks to IT Minister KTR, he added.
A weaver from Yallanki village, Miryala Nagarjuna, also said he had been in the weaving work for more than 25 years. Due to meagre income, he left the business and migrated to Hyderabad in search of livelihood and ran a groceries store for three years. When demand for the handlooms increased, he again returned to weaving and now earning Rs 15,000 per month, which was three times more than his earlier income.
Master weaver Ch Srinivas said thrift scheme was benefitting the weavers very much. He requested the State government to announce a health insurance scheme for families of weavers as they suffer some health-related issues due to nature of work. The implementation of subsidy on yarn and dying chemicals would further better the incomes of the weavers, he added.
Assistant Director of Textiles Sanjeeva Rao said geo-tagging was completed to 1,927 maggams in the district. He exuded confidence that the weaver would earn more in a couple of years due to the initiatives of the government.