Salem December 21 White silk dhothi manufacturers in Salem began a three day token strike today against the steep rise in price of raw silk yarn which has hit silk textiles business.
White silk dhothi is a traditional textile product that has gained the Geographical Identification Mark as a specialty item made in Salem. White silk dhothi is traditionaly worn during marriages, special occasions and for adorning idols in Hindu temples. Nearly 10,000 persons are involved in white silk dhothi manufacture under whom several thousand small scale handloom units thrive as job order undertakers.
The price of raw silk (kora silk) yarn has been skyrocketing for a year. “Initially the industry took the increase in cost as an usual cycle in business. But in the last two months the increase has been acute and supply has fallen. The cost of manufacture of a dhothi has risen to nearly Rs 300 because of increase in price of raw silk yarn. Suppliers exploit the situation by demanding advance payment whereas the retail showrooms in the state are not prepared to pay a higher price for the finished product,” says S.G. Jayabal, President, Sowrashtra White Silk Dhothi Manufacturers and Marketers Association.
Several hundred handloom units in Ammapet cluster in Salem were closed today and workers had to go out of work. The token strike will become indefinite if the suppliers and retailers do not show flexibility. The government should intervene and take steps to remove the bottleneck said the manufacturers.
(Centre for Community Media)