By: Ravindra seshu
Hyderabad: Two young entrepreneurs from a weaving community have successfully developed a ‘Handloom Park’, employing around 150 – their childhood dream to resolve hardships faced by the community – in their village Boodan Pochampally, a mandal headquarter in Nalgonda district.
Damodar and Lava Kumar, just in their 30s, CEOs of the Handloom Park, had first hand experienced of the problems of the weavers in their native village. As kids they had a dream to bailout the poor weavers of their village from poverty.
They both used to loom the cloth to help their parents while studying. There are about 2,000 weavers struggling to feed their families in Boodan Pochampally. “We decided then, we have to do something to our community after completion of study,” Damodar said adding that they made a study on Handloom Park and prepared a project report and submitted it to the officials in handloom department in State and Centre.
The then chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and Union Minister for Textiles and Handlooms Sankar Singh Waghela responded positively and sanctioned loan under Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services – Cluster Development Initiative (IL&LF-CDI). The duo held a meeting with the weavers of Boodan Pochampally and discussed the project proposal with some other weavers as well. Four more youth came forward and joined hands with them.
They procured 24 acres land on their own and approached the State and the Central governments. Their dream became a reality partly after setting up the Pochampally Handloom Park Limited (PHPL) at Boodan Pochampally in 2008 with the assistance of IL&LF-CDI, State and Central governments.
It is an integrated handloom textile facility comprising designing, tying and dyeing, weaving etc, all under a single roof with a focus to sustain the unique Ikat technique on textiles. Weavers in the State are left behind due to lack of knowledge. “Keeping weaves in vogue is a tough task as trends keep changing. Weavers need to be regularly updated on this aspect so that they keep reinventing their handloom to make it more market friendly,” Lava Kumar suggested.
But, PHPL has been facing working capital problem to engage more weavers to produce more handlooms of international standards. “Both State and Central governments and IL & FS –CDI have given priority to the infrastructure development and extended loan for buildings but not working capital,” Damodar said. At present, they have been engaging 150 weavers instead of 2,000 weavers.
Efforts are on to enhance the employment to another 450 weavers immediately. Lava Kumar said that they have been getting orders from multi-national companies. “We have skilled weavers and designers to make quality clothes and we will provide employment to all 2,000 weavers if the government extended cooperation to the Park,” Lava Kumar said.
Rajya Sabha MP R Anand Bhaskar, who took up the weavers’ issues of Boodan Pochampally, said “I took the issue to the notice of Union Textile Ministry and State government to extend working capital to the Handloom park there.” Principal Secretary of Industry and Handlooms and textiles department of the State government too promised the weavers of the village to extend all assistance to the Park to enhance weavers’ employment there.
Courtesy: The Hans India