The Chirala is major hub for textile business in the district of Prakasam. Chirala area handloom industry is famous since time immemorial for producing variety of fabrics which brought name and fame to the nation as well as to this area.
Even before the Industrial revolution taken place in the west, the rural artisan weaver of Chirala had done marvelous work of producing 7 yards of transparent sari which could be folded and kept in a match box, which speaks of highest excellence in the art of weaving, unmatched skill and talent of handloom weaver of this area.
However, in the wake of power looms gaining ground, weavers from, among other places, Kanigiri, Ethamukala, Vetapalem, Janarpeta in the district faced hardship due to lack of orders for their adroit hands in the era of globalisation.
Handlooms and Textiles Assistant Director M. Ramamurthy Naidu at the awareness programmes for the weavers said that the Mega Handloom Cluster involving investment worth Rs.70 crore which is all set to commence operations from the second week of October will be game changer.
Eight interventions are planned to strengthen the hands of 12,000 identified weavers to come out with innovative designs, reduce hard work and help them find new markets within and outside the country through e-marketing.
The interventions included a Rs. 7-crore yarn bank, modern compressed looms, motorised jacquards, emergency solar lamps, a modern design studio, work sheds for the identified weavers to improve productivity and income for them.
Their aim is to empower the 12,000 weavers from the district to work wonders on the loom like their forefathers a tapestry of designs and textures.
Weaver A. Veerabrahmam if of the view that the government should do away with the 20 per cent beneficiary contribution and double the subsidy component for new work sheds from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000.
Subsidised yarn and chemical dyes as also export sub-centres should be set up, according to weaver, Katuri Narasimha Rao.
K. Venkateswara Rao, a weaver from Epurupalem, said that the government need to provide solar lamps of higher capacity to energise at least two tube lights and a fan instead of an emergency lamp which would not serve any purpose.
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