Kanchipuram silk business withstands Covid storm

Chennai: With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the livelihood of people in almost all sectors, the weavers of Kanchipuram remain strong after initial hiccups, thanks to back to back festivals and wedding season. And they are pinning big hopes on 2021.

True to the Tamil saying ‘Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum’, the weavers are hopeful that business will be back as usual in the coming days.

It is said that silk sarees to the tune of Rs 25.38 crore was sold through Arignar Anna Silk Co Op Society Ltd in Kanchipuram till December. There are 1,234 weavers in the society out of which 350 are small scale weavers and 854 are large scale weavers.

With the Muhurtham season beginning with Pongal, the business of the Kancheepuram silk sarees is only expected to increase.

Speaking to News Today, the society’s president G Viswanathan said that they ensured that the weavers do not suffer and started procuring the finished products directly from them during the lockdown after obtaining special permission from the District Collector.

He said that business is getting back and “we are expecting it to return to normalcy after Pongal”. The sarees are procured from the weavers and are sent to the union’s outlets in 14 districts for sale.

“Different designs and varities of silk sarees were made ready during this period. Though we were not able to sell during the lockdown, we ensured that the weavers atleast got minimum work. We collected the completed sarees by going door-to-door,” he added.

He further said that on behalf of the society they gave loans to the weavers and also arranged for provisions during the pandemic.

Apart from the cooperative societies, private showrooms too are making brisk business in Kanchipuram. “It is true that we suffered during Covid-induced lockdown. But, things are positive now. We are hopeful that 2021 will be good for us,” says the manager of one such showroom.


NT Bureau