Chendamangalam weavers back on their feet

Chendamangalam weavers back on their feet
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Paravoor: Lady Luck seems to be finally smiling at handloom weavers of Chendamangalam in Kerala’s Ernakulam district as their sales have picked up with the onset of the Onam festivities. The weavers here had suffered huge losses during the massive floods last year.

The same fate awaited them for a second consecutive year as heavy rain wreaked havoc in the state last month and the looms at the handloom village were damaged. But the weavers are back on their feet as they overall benefitted from the help that came from various quarters since last year.

The extensive campaigning that the handloom products received and the realisation among people that traditional industries should be protected has helped in increasing the sales. Thirteen handloom groups in the district have come up with cloth materials worth Rs 5 crore.

"I don't think this much campaigning and handloom sales have happened in the last 50 years," says T S Baby, president of the Paravoor handloom weavers' group.

The Paravoor group alone has four sales centres in the city, including one stall specifically targeting Onam shoppers.

District bank and district business centre are organising a fair for handloom products in Ernakulam. The exhibition-cum-sale of handloom products are also being held in Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta districts.

Sarees are the most in demand. Traditional set mundu and colourful dhotis are also sought after.

"Several cooperative banks are encouraging its members to buy handloom products by giving special subsidies," P A Sojan, the secretary of handloom weavers cooperative group H47.

Earlier it was reported that yarn on 50 looms of H-47 was damaged.

As the sales have increased, the outfits have contacted the authorities for implementing minimum wage in the sector. Action in this regard is likely to be taken after the Onam holidays.

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