At least 210 families, including woman weavers, are involved in the activity
Born with the art of weaving, several families in Ghantasala village are now playing a major role in weaving the exquisite Mangalagiri and Gadwal sarees, and in the process, contributing their share in export of the products to several parts across the country.
It is strongly believed in the market that renowned Mangalagiri and Gadwal cotton sarees, with unique traditional designs and borders, are woven by local weavers. But, in reality, 210 families, including woman weavers, have an untold story of weaving Mangalagiri and Gadwal sarees in Ghantasala. Observing the locals’ talent of weaving borders like Mangalagiri and others, a few local weavers, who are having investment capacity, have started their venture in the lucrative business. The business includes supplying Mangalagiri and Gadwal yarn to the local weaver, providing handloom and paying him an attractive price for their talent. “As our co-operative society never searched for new products, we found something lucrative in switching to weaving the famous saree as demanded by the local businessmen,” says Injamuri Kumari. Like Kumari, 210 Ghantasala weavers, who are all members of the society, are working under the 24 local businessmen. The businessmen run their own units, in which the weavers will be paid for their work, and provided every material required for weaving a saree and handloom. “We get Rs.155 to Rs. 160 for each saree, which actually fetches Rs. 500 to Rs. 600 in the market. One weaver can hardly weave seven sarees, and monthly earning is roughly above Rs. 5,000,” she added. “The saree has demand in Guntur, Vijayawada and Hyderabad and Karnataka. Even most of the cotton sarees those are being sold in Mangalagiri and Gadwal are exported from Ghantasala now-a-days,” said J. Kesava Rao, one of the businessmen running his unit with 11 weavers.
By the end of 2012, the weavers succeeded in weaving the Mangalagiri saree with ‘zari’ border. Those who can master weaving the silver zari border are experiencing quite a bit of rise in their income of around Rs 7,000. Left with no livelihood option, the weavers of Ghantasala are treating their talent as their survival strategy instead of getting expose to the open market, or to be renowned as master weavers of the State.