Golden days are ahead for weaver of the town as their hands are going to be full with work because of orders for weaving dhotis and sarees from Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the Pongal and Onam festival. The weavers, after suffering from financial problems and going through the suicide trend, celebrated the recent Dasara happily because of increasing earnings.
Of the total 78,000 power looms situated in the two Telugu states, 34,000 are located in this popular town alone. The weavers of the town were appreciated by the Government of Tamil Nadu for having successfully executed a huge order. It is pertinent to note here that at least 52 lakh sarees, distributed among women for Batukamma festival, were woven by the weavers here.
The weavers are striving to regain the past glory of the town, which was rocked by a spate of suicide deaths of weavers in the past. For the forthcoming Pongal and Onam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments respectively are making arrangements to give huge orders to the weavers here. Orders from Andhra Pradesh are also in the pipeline. If all these orders materialise, the weaver will be busy for about a year.
Tamil Nadu requires 1.72 crore dhotis and 1.73 crore sarees. So agents of the state set their sights on the weavers of Siricilla.
Daily weavers of the town produce 1.40 lakh metres of sarees with each power loom producing at least 70 metres a day. The duration to complete the order will be three months. Earlier, the Government of Tamil Nadu gave work to the weavers here directly. But the picture has changed. Some agents are getting the work executed contacting the power loom owners here. The owners will allocate the work to weavers.
At least 2,000 power looms are busy weaving dhotis and sarees. The dhotis and sarees are being exported to Kerala market as the people there are fond of the textiles woven by the Siricilla weaver.
In Tamil Nadu, the government distributes sarees and dhotis among the people for the Pongal. There is a scope for the Siricilla weavers to get a work order to execute three lakh dhotis and sarees each.
In Sircilla, there is a three-tier setup—the owners of power looms, the job workers also known as ‘Asaamulu’ who have their own looms and the weavers down below. The power loom owners give orders to the people who have their own looms who in turn get the orders executed by the weavers.
A weaver gets Rs 1.80 per metre of polyester cloth produced. They get Rs 4.70 per metre of the saree produced. Each saree measures 5.5 metres. The weaver gets at least Rs 25 per saree woven. Going by the existing wages, each weaver will at least earn between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 a month.
Whatever be the reason, a festive atmosphere prevails in the weaver town.General Secretary of power loom owners Mandala Satyam said that the weavers at last got their due recognition upon overcoming hard times. Then there was uncertainty among weavers about future. If the orders from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and AP are through, the weavers and power loom owners benefit financially. Support from the Government of Telangana is appreciated, he said.