Nabarangpur: A few hundred weavers residing in Sanmasigam, Bhatigam, Mundaguda, Moedigam, Korchamal, Kusumguda, Dengapadar, Chatahandi, Dongiriguda, Boragam, Betal Kusumi and Saranpur villages in Nabarangpur district earn their livelihood from handloom works.
The traditional weavers are known for their creative designs. They weave shirt clothes, napkins, scarves, bed-sheets, carpets and sarees which are high in demand.
Both men and women of Tanti community also weave tusser sarees with attractive designs. Until 1985, the weavers were doing their business within the district without much marketing avenues for their products.
But some leading weavers of their community came forward and set up a cooperative society, Jananimata Weavers Co-operative Society, at Sanmasingam village and took up the marketing needs of the weavers’ products. The society helped provide some earnings for the traditional weavers, but their good days were short-lived.
Irregularities, graft and red-tapism spoiled the society. Instead of working for the benefit of the poor and illiterate weavers, those who managed the society misappropriated its funds.
Consequently, the government agencies made no concrete efforts to revive the society or to empower the weavers. Ultimately, apathy has forced many weavers to migrate to the neighbouring Chhatisgarh to earn their livelihood. Several weavers who could not move to other places left their traditional handloom work.
Now, a small number of weavers devoid of any other means of
earning are still doing the traditional handloom work.
According to the weavers, yarn is being provided by businessmen of Jagadalpur of Bastar district (Chhatisgarh) these days. The weavers take up handloom work as per indent and send the products back to Jagdalpur for which they are paid Rs 25 to Rs.50 per metre considering the labour involved.
In the absence of encouragement and support from the government, the artisans of Nabarangpur have become an extinct clan these days.