Hyderabad: As Dasara season inches closer, efforts have begun for collection and transportation of about 95 lakh Bathukamma sarees to be distributed among women in the State. Keeping in view the previous experience, the officials are making prior arrangements to ensure that the sarees reach their district headquarters by September 15.
The looms in Sircilla and rest of the handloom hubs in the State, are operating to their full capacity to deliver the sarees as per the deadline and officials are making arrangements for storing and transporting them to the districts concerned. The State government is spending Rs 450 crore for the scheme and Sircilla handlooms alone will be producing sarees worth about Rs 280 crore. Bathukamma sarees require 6.3 crore metres of cloth of which 3.75 crore metres is being produced in Sircilla powerlooms. The remaining 2.36 crore metres of cloth is being imported from Surat.
Officials said that last year, Sircilla powerlooms produced about six crore metres of cloth required to produce about 90 lakh Bathukamma sarees. However, the sarees were distributed in the third week of December after the new government was formed as the Model Code of Conduct was in force during the Dasara festive season.
“Placement of order for the current year too got delayed due to Model Code of Conduct. As the weavers in Sircilla will not be able to produce entire requirement within such short span, a portion of order was placed with the weavers in Surat. We are likely to receive these sarees by this month end,” an official of Telangana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (TSCO) told Telangana Today. However, the order for sarees to be distributed during Ramzan and Christmas have been entirely given to weavers of Sircilla.
About 50 varieties of Bathukamma saree designs and colours were designed by National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Hyderabad. Officials said saree cloth will also have a blouse piece for benefit of women benefiaries. While weavers were given a deadline to supply sarees by third week of August, officials are making arrangements to transport them to all the district headquarters by September 15. Distribution of sarees is likely to commence in third week of September after obtaining necessary approvals from the government.