Uncertainty looms over Bathukamma sarees order; Telangana weavers left in lurch

Uncertainty is looming over the future of the handloom and textile manufacturing sector in the state as the government has not yet placed orders for Bathukamma sarees and uniforms. Though the Minister of Handloom and Textiles, Tummala Nageshwar Rao, verbally instructed relevant authorities to issue an order for saree production, the official directive has not been issued. This situation has sparked concerns about a potential recurrence of the harsh conditions faced by weavers and the textile industry before the formation of Telangana.

Previously, the KCR government initiated a program aimed at preventing hunger deaths among handloom workers. This program involved distributing handloom sarees to girls who reached the age of 18 in the state during the Bathukamma festival. Since its commencement in 2017, approximately one crore sarees are distributed annually, providing a livelihood for those who continue in this profession. 

The government allocates up to Rs. 350 crore each year to handloom societies for these sarees. Additionally, uniforms for Gurukuls, other government hostels, school children, the police department, and various government departments were sourced from polyester manufacturers in the state, amounting to an expenditure of over Rs. 200 crores. Annually, handloom, powerloom, and polyester workers used to receive government orders totaling up to Rs. 550 crore for the production of sarees and uniforms.

In light of the uncertainty, handloom and powerloom workers stopped cloth production from January 15, awaiting government orders.