The weavers of Kothwada in the city cry for help from the State government on the lines their counterparts got in Pochampalli and Sircilla. They say the geographical indication (GI) tag was of little use unless their produce is bought and they get good remuneration for their labour.
Around 3,000 families still carryout the traditional vocation in Kothawada. For decades they were known for weaving dhurries (cotton carpet) and their expertise had won them world wide acclaim. However, the glorious days did not last long, crying for attention from the State government now.
Speaking to The Hindu , an elderly weaver D. Rama Narayana said their product was much in demand from various countries once upon a time, but not any more. Now many weavers are struggling to survive.
The government agency TSCO, which is the sole buyer, has asked the weavers to reduce the production as there was not much demand. “The mega textile park that is coming up in the city should also have place for us and for our produce. The State government should ensure it,” Mr. Rama Narayana says. Weavers Welfare Association State vice president Ch. Venkateswarlu says the younger generation was disowning the profession as it was not supporting their livelihoods.
The GI tag comes as the final hope for the traditional weavers to promote their products in India and abroad, he opined.
The art is so old that in early 1850s, a jampakhana from Kothawada was put up on display at the London gallery.
“The State government should strive to help them market the produce. The weavers of Pochampalli and Siricilla have received the government’s help but the Kothawada weavers are still waiting.
We also request the Central government to exempt these dhurries from Good and Services Tax (GST),” Mr. Venkateswarlu said.