Will Chinnalapatti get a dyeing unit?

After the dying process Sungudi saris being dried up in an open place near Chinnalapatti near Dindigul on Wednesday.

After the dying process Sungudi saris being dried up in an open place near Chinnalapatti near Dindigul on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

Saris are taken to Madurai on a daily basis to be dyed

S. Jeyaraman, a weaver from Chinnalapatti, takes an autorickshaw ride of three kilometres from the village daily to reach Ambathurai Railway station at 7.30 a.m. sharp. From there, he takes a train to Madurai to reach the city around 9 a.m. Then he further takes a bus ride or rickshaw ride to the dyeing units of Avaniyapuram or Villapuram.

“Every day, hundreds of men like me from Chinnalapatti travel all the way to Madurai just to dye saris. The transportation cost and labour has increased because of this and that reflects on the selling prices of saris,” said Jeyaraman.

Over 1500 families in Chinnalapatti are involved in the business of cotton and silk saris, including weavers, dyers and various other textile craftsmen. Each of the dyers carry at least 50 saris a day to Madurai to get them dyed and they earn a profit of little over a Rupee per sari. The 60 and 40 count cotton saris apart from art silk saris produced in Chinnalpatti are renowned the world over and the goods reach markets far and wide across the country, making it a major textile hub in Dindigul district.

Until 2014, there were around 50 dyeing units in the village, including 22 licensed ones, which were all closed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, after which Madurai has become the only resort for these craftsmen.

“Unlike the large scale dyeing units in Erode and Tiruppur, the dyeing units in Chinnalapatti are small home units that use vat dyes with no salt and hence is comparatively less harmful to the environment. Earlier, an effluent treatment plant was sufficient to get a license. In 2014, the Government passed an order cancelling licenses without Reverse Osmosis plants and the units were all closed. However, we have been fighting for a licensed government approved dyeing unit in Chinnalapatti,” added Jeyaraman.

Chinnalapatti’s dream of a dyeing unit may become a reality in future with the Athoor MLA I. Periyasamy raising the demand in the Assembly recently. Mr. I. Periyasamy has come forward to identify land and offer project cost from the MLA fund. Minister for Handlooms and Textiles O.S. Manian has responded positively to the demand raised, stating that the project can also be planned with private industrial investment.

Meanwhile, the people of Chinnalapatti continue to wait with hopes.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:46:01 AM |

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