Steps should be taken immediately to revive the Dharmapuri District Silk Reeling and Yarn Twisting Services Industrial Cooperative Society, Bagalur, near Hosur in Krishnagiri district, said members of the society. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) had suspended its certification to procure products from this society from 2005.
M. Ismail, Special Officer of the Society told The Hindu on Tuesday that the society was making profit for 25 years from 1980 to 2005.
The society established a reeling unit in 1997 at a cost of Rs. 2.90 lakhs behind the Bagalur Bus Stand with the financial support under Integrated Cooperative Development Programme. The entire loan amount was repaid by the society. Now the reeling unit has six employees and is being run with own funds, Mr. Ismail said.
In 2005, KVIC officials refused to certify the society as some of the members had switched to mechanised weaving. And again in December 2009 they inspected the society and units run by its members. Now the society is expecting certification from the KVIC to sell its products to KVIC units in the state.
Many members of the society complain that they have not received wages in the last six years. Mr. Ismail said that many KVIC units owe large amount to the society. Some of them were paying in instalments and the same was being distributed to the members.When the society became sick, hundreds of families depending on reeling and warping had to depend on the orders placed by private silk manufactures from Bangalore and Sharjapur in Karnataka. .
A large number of women in Bagalur and its surrounding areas depend on twisting and reeling jobs for a livelihood. They get a meagre Rs. 8 an hour. Most of them work for five to six hours a day. Some of the people in the area have set up units in their houses and sourcing job work from private silk traders in Karnataka.
Hundreds of weavers who have set up power looms too are facing difficulties, as they are not getting remunerative wages. They get Rs. 350 a piece of silk sari and most of them weave three saris a week with the help of an assistant. Whereas, for weaving silk shirting material, they used to get Rs. 8 a metre. One can weave a maximum of 10 metres a day.
N. Jagadamba, working in a twisting unit for five to six hours said that she has to look after her mentally-retarded husband and an ailing father-in-law and mother-in-law.
“As many of us cannot even meet the cost of production, the only solution lies in the revival of the society,” say weavers.