It has been greater than three years because the Paravur Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society in Ernakulam district had a good sale. “The production is going on as usual and we have never failed to pay our weavers on time. We have managed so far with borrowed money. But now, we are at a dead end,” mentioned Priyadarshini M.B., secretary of the Society.
Every weavers’ cooperative society within the State has the same story to narrate, and most of them are on the verge of shutdown due to the uncertainty forward. The two floods and the year-long COVID-induced disaster have taken their toll on each sector of life. But, the handloom sector, which confronted a number of issues earlier than the crises started, is likely one of the worst-affected.
For most handloom societies within the State, aside from a number of flourishing via on-line sales and abroad clientele, 90% of sales occur throughout the 4 main competition seasons — Onam, Vishu, Ramzan, and Christmas — and thru seasonal gala’s organised in each district by the Industries Department. During the final three to 4 years, one unlucky circumstance or the opposite saved folks away from the seasonal markets, leading to a great deal of handloom textiles remaining unsold, driving the weavers and the societies to large money owed.
“The government has allotted 20% rebate for 52 days a year, encompassing the four seasons, and the sale of handloom products happens only during those days,” mentioned Ranjisha N., secretary of Kommeri Weavers’ Cooperative Society in Kozhikode. Besides the seasonal sale, it’s the authorities’s faculty uniform programme that retains the societies afloat.
With COVID-19 instances coming down, the weavers have begun making ready for the subsequent season, Onam. “We earn around ₹1 crore to ₹2 crore usually during the Onam sale every year. We made only 30% of it this Vishu. If we can make a good sale during the coming Onam season, we will be back on our feet,” mentioned Mahesh N., secretary of Kanhirode Weavers’ Cooperative Society in Kannur.
A superb sale can also be needed for the societies to transfer ahead. “Our raw materials are almost finished. We need to get more yarn from Tamil Nadu if we need to continue,” mentioned Ms. Priyadarshini.
Meanwhile, the Industries Department in each district is making efforts to maintain seasonal gala’s if the state of affairs is beneficial. “The weavers are good at production and always come with good stock. What they fail is on the marketing front and that is where we step in,” mentioned Abdul Rasheed Okay., Handloom Inspector hooked up to the District Industries Centre in Kozhikode. However, with fluctuating check positivity charges in most districts, the officers in addition to the weavers stay apprehensive in regards to the upcoming competition season.