Fortunes begin to swing for Sircilla weavers

Apparel park would employ over 10,000 people, with focus on women

April 21, 2018 11:00 pm | Updated 11:00 pm IST - RAJANNA-SIRCILLA

Juki sewing machine training provided to women in the proposed apparel park on the outskirts of Sircilla town of Rajanna-Sircilla district.

Juki sewing machine training provided to women in the proposed apparel park on the outskirts of Sircilla town of Rajanna-Sircilla district.

Future prospects of distressed powerloom weavers of the Sircilla textile town are looking bright, if measures being taken by the State government over the past few years are anything to go by.

The town earlier attained the dubious distinction of having the highest incidence of suicides by powerloom weavers in the State. However, measures initiated by IT and Handlooms Minister K.T. Rama Rao, who also represents the Sircilla Assembly constituency, have reversed the fortunes of the weavers.

Initially, the government had sanctioned bulk orders to weave school uniforms for the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM). Later, the weavers were also employed to provide sarees that were distributed on the occasion of Bathukamma festival.

In order to provide regular employment to weavers living in the textile town, the State government had proposed an Apparel park on the outskirts of Sircilla town. The sole objective of the park was to provide employment to over 10,000 persons, mostly women, who otherwise depended solely on rolling beedis, an industry that is in a slump.

The park would sprawl across 60 acres in Pedduru village and would be constructed at a cost of ₹110 crore in a phased manner. The Tamil Nadu firm Kay Ventures Private Limited had come forward to set up the park.

Talking to The Hindu , Assistant Director (handlooms and textiles) Ashok Rao said land had been acquired and ground levelled for the allotment of sites for entrepreneurs to set up their units. Major companies such as Arvind cotton and Jockey have already expressed interest in setting up units and start garment production in the park, he said.

The department has also decided to train women in Juki sewing machines to produce garments in the proposed park.

He said a total of around 8,000 sewing machines would be set up by various companies, producing around 3.5 million pieces of garments annually.

To empower powerloom weavers, the government is mooting setting up weaving sheds spreading over 88 acres of land in Peddur village at a cost of ₹245 crore and benefit 1,104 weavers. The process of setting up weaving sheds, along with warping units and identification of beneficiaries, had already started, said Mr. Ashok Rao. The government would provide initial support to the units by placing orders to school uniforms and Bathukamma sarees to be woven.

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