A majority of the workers feels that its trade might not be carried forward by the next generation
The hex or hexagonal nuts is considered to be one of the most difficult components to produce. It requires a lathe machine, shaping machine and many other machines, along with a skilled pair of hands to produce a quality hex nut.
Just walk into any of the 5,500 odd small scale units in Jawahar Autonagar here and skilled workers produce a hex nut in a jiffy over a lathe machine. They do not have a degree or a diploma, they are skilled and regarded as the sons of Visawakarma.
A fear haunts these craftsmen today, as majority of them feel that their trade might not be carried forward by the next generation.
“Vijayawada has always been the hub for automobiles and at any given time there are at least 30,000 heavy vehicles. Most of the people who started the SSI units were small-time technicians who picked up the trade from their gurus in the typical guru-shishya parampara, but now they feel threatened,” said Vijayawada Auto Cluster Development Company Chairman cum Managing Director V. Rajendra Prasad.
The threat is not only from the second generation, who after having enjoyed the fruits of hard work of first generation, plan to move to white-collared jobs in the corporate sector, but also from the government which has not played its role as desired. “The workforce today is at least 50 years behind the technology.
The government has not done anything to upgrade the skills of workforce, but has allowed the original equipment manufacturers to start their own hi-tech service centres,” said CII-Vijayawada former president J.S.R.K. Prasad.
The turnover of units in Autonagar alone exceeds Rs.1,200 crore and contributes over Rs.500 crore as sales tax. “It provides employment to over 1 lakh people, and if the Government does not take any steps to retain or upgrade the promoters, this Autonagar will die natural death with its skilled craftsmen in about 15 years,” said Mr. Rajendra Prasad.
The workforce is at least 50 years behind latest technology and the government has not done anything to upgrade its skills
Former president, CII-Vijayawada