A major chunk of the products are sourced from workshops in and around Amannagar

The old city is well known for its thriving bazaars, apart for its rich heritage structures identified with a variety of products like zardosi sarees, bangles, sherwanis, and footwear attracting people from far off places.

However, what many do not know is the backbone of the bazaar and the workforce which make the age old markets eye-catching and unique.

A kilometre away from Charminar stands Amannagar, a locality well known for its workshops, and equally recognised for its poverty and misery. A walk past these lanes reveals a variety of small industries running from tiny asbestos-roofed houses.

There are of course ‘mulgis' too, but they are less preferred on account of their high rents. Hand embroidery units, schoolbags and purses, footwear, burkha, ladies dresses, bangle making units are numerous here.

Products manufactured here are supplied to shops and wholesalers in Pathergatti, Lad Bazaar, and Patel Market for decades. The proximity of Amannagar to the markets of old city has helped it gain a shape of a small industries hub. “A major chunk of the products are sourced from workshops in and around Amannagar for many years,” admits Mohd. Imtiyaz, a bangle store owner at Lad Bazaar. In fact, a few traders from Secunderabad also place orders with the workshops situated here.

Then there are confectionary making units like ‘Khopra mithai' (coconut sweet), peppermint factory, and pink candy situated here providing a source of livelihood to scores of people.

Family affair

Ever since its inception some three decades ago Amannagar has been a slum inhabited by poor people. All the family members including children get involved in certain vocations to eke out a living. Though their efforts have brought fame to the markets but their own lives remain unchanged.

Houses take a shape of ‘Karkhanas' (workshops) during the day and a home after nightfall. A small alteration changes the facet in a matter of minutes. “We just keep the instruments and equipment aside and convert it into a home by spreading a mat and putting a few pillows. We cannot afford to hire a different premise for a workshop,” says Zareena Begum, who makes incense sticks.

Signs of poverty are visible all around. Money lenders have a field day in these parts which are also notorious for its gambling dens and satta betting. However, the women folk are determined to see a change. “Things will definitely change one day,” hopes Farzana, who practices hand embroidery, though many just see the phrase as a mere consolation.

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