Brides from Palla Kadiyam have great demand, and grooms are even willing to pay kanyasulkam, as they are assured of employment

There is a relation between brooms and grooms in this tiny village which is 25 kms from Rajahmundry city in East Godavari district. Brides here have a great demand so much so that grooms are willing even to pay kanyasulkam (a practice where the groom pays dowry to the bride) for a bride from Palla Kadiyam village.

It is a semi-rich village in Rajanagaram mandal which became famous for making broomsticks, an activity that became a cottage industry, providing livelihood to over 1,000 families.

A great source of self-employment, parents in the village don’t worry about their daughters’ marriage. “Girls after attaining marriageable age have wannabe grooms queuing up because it takes care of their employment, making brooms here in the village,” says Chintapalli Arjunudu.

Grass from Assam

According to Ch. Sahadevudu, the raw material to make broomsticks comes in gunny bags from Assam and Maredumilli in Rampachodavaram Agency area in the district. “A 50-kg-bag of dry grass used in the broom costs Rs. 2,000. After wastage, we get only 40 kg,” he says, explaining that soft grass is cleaned up before it is assembled into a broom.

A handle is made for a comfortable grip and buyers have a wide range of varieties to choose from.

Most villagers secure additional raw material like plastic pipes, coconut sticks and wire from places like Vijayawada.

Every household generates between 250 and 400 brooms every day which is then weighed, says Arjunudu. “Each bag of grass is used to make 150 to 200 brooms of four different varieties and the price ranges from Rs. 30 to Rs. 60,” he informs.

Citing financial constraints, Mr. Arjunudu says banks should come forward to give loans and the government must look into the issue.

The agent who helps the villagers secure raw material, also assists them in sale of their product. Some villagers go as far as Rayalaseema and Srikakulam areas to bring in grass or plastic pipes.