Over 20,000 weaver families in Orissa’s Ganjam district, famous for silk sarees well-known as Berhampuri Pata, are staring at a bleak future with the shortage of raw materials, low wages and non-availability of subsidy in power tariff.
Most of these weavers live in Hinjili, represented by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the assembly, officials said.
Several hundred weavers of Hinjili gathered on Tuesday at Samalai, about 30 km from here, to discuss their problems.
“The state government has been requested to provide electricity to run looms at a subsidised rate and to establish more raw material yarn banks in the district,” president of Ganjam District Weavers Association Parsuram Sahu said.
Only two raw material banks are presently functioning at Berhampur and Aska in the district by the handloom and textile department. Each bank is functioning with a corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh, provided by the government and supply the yarn to the weavers in limited quantity.
“The department procures raw silk yarns from various places through National Handloom Development Corporation (NHDC),” Assistant Director of Textiles Upendra Debata said.
While the weavers demanded more raw material banks, especially at Hinjili, Debata said the government has no such plan.
Weavers complained that they were forced to procure yarn from private agencies and middlemen at higher rate.