Two brothers running a knitting unit at the Madurai Hosiery Industries Association Industrial Estate at Uranganpatti near here have won a national award for micro, small and medium enterprises entrepreneurship. The Special Recognition Award for 2008, given to acknowledge their outstanding performance in the manufacturing category, is the first of its kind for southern districts of Tamil Nadu since the inception of national awards in 1993, according to statistics of the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Jaffer Sadiq Babu and A. K. B. Nawas Babu, sons of former Tamil Nadu Electricity Board engineer S. Abubacker of Sholavandan, received the award from the Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Dinsha J. Patel, in New Delhi recently. The award assumes significance not only because of the fact that the brothers hail from a village near Madurai but also the location of the unit. Till recently, the Uranganpatti industrial estate was not considered a profitable venture. The private industrial estate, mooted in 1993, was set up with the assistance of Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation in 90 acres with 147 sheds and a power sub-station, telephone exchange, roads, water supply and underground drainage.

After many false starts, the industrial estate is now vibrant, though not housing units related to the textile industry.

Mr. Nawas Babu, who is the president of Madurai Hosiery Industries Association, said that the award would be a morale booster for budding entrepreneurs of southern districts.

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