Sircilla: Thanks to various schemes and programmes by the State government, Sircilla textile industry is on its way to glory, attracting workers from States across the country. Local weavers, who used to migrate to Bhiwandi in search of employment, have now reached a position where they are able to provide employment to workers from other States. The Bathukamma sarees order by the State government has brought about a major change in the lives of Sircilla weavers.
Though the textile industries in Gujarat, Maharastra and Tamil Naidu are in crisis, Sircilla weavers are getting regular employment due to the measures taken by the State government. Like other sectors, textile industry has also been affected by GST (Goods and Services Tax) and scores of people were left unemployed with the closure of small textile units across the country.
However, Sircilla is the only textile area where weavers are getting continuous employment through the year. While Bathukamma and RVM orders are providing employment for eight months, weavers are relying on polyester for the remaining four months period.
Though local cloth manufacturers are also paying GST on their transactions, State government, especially local MLA and IT and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao’s initiative that pays Rs 8.50 on weaving of meter Bathukamma saree cloth is providing great respite to the weavers. It is boosting the local weavers to run their units throughout the year.
Besides return of local weavers shifted to Bhiwandi, workers from Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra are migrating to Sircilla in search of employment.
Not only from other States, people from Narsampet, Mahabubabad, Parkal and Shayampet of old Warangal district and Dharmapuri, Dharmaram, Metpalli, Choppadandi of erstwhile Karimnagar are also migrating to Sircilla hoping work.
Apart from regular work, high payments are also considered a factor for the migration of workers from other States. Local weavers are earning Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 additionally as compared to what is getting in other States.
Speaking to Telangana Today, a weaver from UP, Dinesh Kumar expressed happiness over getting employment in Sircilla. Compares to Bhiwandi, Sircilla was far better in terms of work atmosphere and living conditions, he said.
A native of Banaras of Uttar Pradesh, Dinesh Kumar worked for three years in Bhiwandi of Maharastra and shifted to Sircilla two years ago. He along with 14 others (Bayya community people of UP) are working in Mora Textiles, Thangallapalli in the outskirts of Sircilla town.
Another worker Sanjay Kumar said that in Bhiwandi, workers were unable to get regular employment since a number of units were closed due to the implementation of GST. However, they are earning Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 per fortnight since Rs 8.50 was paid on weaving of meter Bathukamma saree cloth.
Gandisetti Madhu, who maintains Mora Textiles, said that they were providing free accommodation to UP works since it was not possible for them to rent rooms nearby the industry. It was mandatory for him to extract work from them to reach the target, he said.
Mathin Ahmed and his team are working in Bandari Textile, Ganeshnagar, in Sircilla town. A native of Malegoan, Nasik district of Maharastra, he migrated to Sircilla three months ago in searching better employment.
In Malegoan, they used to work on white cloth and earn Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 per six days. However, they were getting Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,500 here.
Polu Shankar, secretary of Rajanna-Sircilla Powerlooms MACS Presidents’ Association, wanted the government to provide 365 day work to weavers by giving the orders of Singareni, TSRTC and other welfare departments.
He also wanted the government to cut down power burden on weavers by supplying free electricity to textile units on part with agriculture sector.
In order to provide employment to weavers, the State government has started giving Bathukamma saree order to Sircilla weavers three years ago. In 2017, 95.48 lakh sarees order was given while it was elevated to 99.02 lakh in 2018. This year, 1.2 lakh order was given.