A few handlooms are still at work in Sualkuchi, which has been badly hit by the Covid crisis. Here, a weaver makes a traditional Assamese mekhala-sador | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
A few handlooms are still at work in Sualkuchi, which has been badly hit by the Covid crisis. Here, a weaver makes a traditional Assamese mekhala-sador | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
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Sualkuchi: Deserted looms and depleted incomes — the weavers of Sualkuchi, Assam’s textile hub, have been struggling to make ends meet ever since the lockdown was implemented in March.

Sualkuchi is the one of the largest weaving villages of the world, and is known for a variety of silk weaves, including eri, muga and paat. Despite the easing of the lockdown, the industry is struggling to get back on its feet. As losses mounted to Rs 100 crore, several of the looms in the village were forced to closed down.

ThePrint’s Angana Chakrabarti travelled to Sualkuchi, which is located 35 km from Guwahati, to capture a glimpse of how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the weaving community.

More than 90 per cent of the households in Sualkuchi are engaged in weaving activities. But what would otherwise have been a bustling scene, filled with tourists and the rhythmic clap of looms, is now silent and empty | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
More than 90 per cent of the households in Sualkuchi are engaged in weaving activities. But what would otherwise have been a bustling scene, filled with tourists and the rhythmic clap of looms, is now silent and empty | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Baloram Baro, a second-generation weaver who migrated to Sualkuchi, is among those who still remain in the weaving town. The loss of income due to Covid-19 has forced several weavers to return home | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Baloram Baro, a second-generation weaver who migrated to Sualkuchi, is among those who still remain in the weaving town. The loss of income due to Covid-19 has forced several weavers to return home | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Inside a handloom facility in Sualkuchi. As a result of the depleted demand, weavers only have enough work for a few hours a day. A typical busy day would usually last around 12 hours | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Inside a handloom facility in Sualkuchi. As a result of the depleted demand, weavers only have enough work for a few hours a day, while earlier, a typical busy day would last around 12 hours | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
40-year-old Lakhydhar Deka has been a weaver for the last three decades. However, in the last three months, his income has reduced by almost half because of the lockdown | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
40-year-old Lakhydhar Deka has been a weaver for the last three decades. However, in the last three months, his income has reduced by almost half because of the lockdown | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Hiralal Kalita, the secretary of the local weavers' association in Sualkuchi. The association recently demanded a Rs 100 crore revival package from the state government | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint
Hiralal Kalita, the secretary of the local weavers’ association in Sualkuchi. The association recently demanded a Rs 100 crore revival package from the state government | Angana Chakrabarti | ThePrint

Also read: Handlooms silent, no Bohag Bihu sale: Assam textile hub Sualkuchi fights to survive Covid


 

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1 Comment Share Your Views

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s a well written article with good information. Can I get in touch with Ms Angana Chakraborty. I am a professor from Delhi.

    Regards

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