Handloom workers stay despite low wages, poor patronage

April 14, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:46 am IST - TIRUCHI:

Poor wages and fall in patronage do not deter them from sticking their profession they had inherited from their forefathers, despite the fact that a good number of looms had been idling.

Scores of handloom workers at the foot of Tirueengoimalai on the Tiruchi-Thottiyam highway have been toiling hard preparing the yarn or handloom cloth to be supplied to Athur.

M. Selvi, manager of Sri Maragatheswari Handloom Weavers’ Association, said the handloom industry was in doldrums because of serious fall in wages.

Left with no option, the labourers were still adhering to the trade as they were not familiar with any other skill for taking up alternative livelihood. A. Saravanamuthu, a labourer, says handloom cloth involved a series of intricate and conventional methods – right from preparing the yarn up to spraying of rice gruel for ensuring its quality.

The handloom weavers say the State and Union governments should seriously consider their plight and evolve a policy in their interest.

To start with, the banks should be directed to sanction loans for developing their trade.

More attractive wages should be fixed in commensurate with the labour.

At present, they said they largely relied on the orders they got from a few traders. The orders were few and far between. Many looms were idling in the village, they said.

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