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Production of Bathukamma sarees in full swing

May 27, 2020
Production of Bathukamma sarees in full swing

The weavers of Sircilla resumed work as the looms gained full steam weaving Bathukamma sarees to meet the deadline. Nearly one crore Bathukamma sarees with 225 designs will be readied by October, in time for distribution before the Bathukamma festivities begin.

Though permissions were given for textile industry to resume work about two weeks ago amid Covid-19-forced lockdown, several looms could not restart work due to unavailability of yarn and other raw materials till a couple of days ago.

For more than 40 days, the looms in Sircilla went silent due to the nation-wide lockdown. Majority of weavers had no work and were forced to depend on ration supplied by the State government through fair price shops.

Textiles Minister KT Rama Rao directed the authorities of Rajanna Sircilla district to provide financial assistance of Rs 500 per head and another Rs 500 worth essential commodities to each weaver following the corona crisis. During the peak days of works earlier, weavers earned around Rs 20,000 per month.

The State government gave relaxation for the textile sector along with other priority sectors despite the lockdown, more than 10 days ago. The weavers too accorded top priority for Bathukamma sarees, whose production was stalled due to lockdown. “Though the sarees were to be delivered by August this year, the production was delayed due to lockdown. We are confident that they will be ready by October which has been set as new deadline to handover the sarees,” an official in the Handlooms and Textiles Department said.

In all, an order of about one crore Bathukamma sarees worth Rs 350 crore, was placed. Despite the State government’s permission during the lockdown, majority weavers were not able to resume work due to unavailability of raw material. To meet the deadline, the looms are being operated in two shifts – day and night.

Of around 30,000 powerlooms in Sircilla, more than 20,000 looms resumed operations and started weaving Bathukamma sarees. The weavers have been asked to maintain physical distance, wear masks and use hand sanitisers/soap water to clean hands at regular intervals. About 20,000 weavers’ families are directly or indirectly will get livelihood due to the relaxation given to textile sector.