Bathukamma largesse brings cheers to weavers

Bathukamma largesse brings cheers to weavers
Highlights

As many as 50 lakh ‘Bathukamma’ sarees have been woven here in the last three months in view of the Telangana government’s decision to gift a total of 1.4 crore such sarees to eligible women, taking the already exalted Bathukamma festival to the next level this year.

Sircilla: As many as 50 lakh ‘Bathukamma’ sarees have been woven here in the last three months in view of the Telangana government’s decision to gift a total of 1.4 crore such sarees to eligible women, taking the already exalted Bathukamma festival to the next level this year.

The Telangana government, which had taken a slew of steps to popularise Bathukamma festival by celebrating it well beyond the State and abroad, has decided to gift sarees to women in families holding white ration cards this year. Towards this end, as many as 54 lakh sarees are to be procured from Surat in Gujarat. The sarees will be distributed for three days after September 15.

The TS government has already distributed sarees to women, marking Ramzan and Christmas festivals. Now, it has extended the same scheme to Bathukamma festival.

Thanks to the festival-oriented sourcing of Bathukamma sarees, weavers are laughing all the way to the bank. Those entrusted with the task of sourcing the sarees told The Hans India that there has been a significant improvement in the earnings of weavers, who normally find it difficult to make ends meet. As against an income of Rs.8,000 a month in the past, they are now earning Rs.20,000 per month. On their part, the weavers have been striving to meet the targets and deliver the sarees in time.

Weavers contacted by The Hans India said that, since they were intimated only three months back, they could weavejust three crore metres of saree cloth. The rest will have to be sourced from Surat. However, they are confident that, from the next year, given enough time, they could produce the entire requirement of Bathukamma sarees right here. All they need is six months’ time to meet the requirement.

Weavers like Bhumayya and Yellayya,working on powerlooms and given Bathukamma sarees work as additional task, are being paid Rs.1.90 per metre (each of them earns approximately Rs.7,000-8,000 a month). Even the owners of looms are happy with the rates being offered. For workers, it is boon as they are getting additional wages of Rs.3 per metre of cloth produced. Their income has increased upto Rs.20,000, according to Ashok Rao, Assistant Director, Handlooms and Textiles Department.

The prospects of quick, assured income have encouraged local weavers to willingly toil throughout the day, despite power problems attributed to ongoing road-widening works in the town. Yet, they have been able to achieve production targets. Some of the local weavers are ready to send the Bathukamma sarees to Hyderabad for giving them final shape.

For, while the sarees are being produced in Sircilla and Surat, their designs were finalized in Hyderabad. The white cloth (pictured)is meant for production of sarees to be gifted by the government. After they are given a shape by the weavers here, the sarees are moved to Surat and Hyderabad for giving them the final look.

The sarees, with good borders, will also be available in green and sandalwood colours, fit to be worn by those aged over 50 years. For the ones intended to be worn by youngsters, the designing part is taken care in Hyderabad and Surat.

By Ch Gopalakrishna

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