What's the new spin on D'gere?

What's the new spin on D'gere?

Meanwhile, though, there is a story of the woes of hundreds of mill workers, and the death of industry in the region.

Thanks to its proximity to most parts of the state, and its weather, Davangere attracted a lot of industries, from its cotton mills to the rice mills to sugar factories.

The Davangere cotton mill came into shape thanks to the vision of Rajanahalli Hanumanthappa, who had studied only till his third standard.

It started with a 12,000-spindle capacity and graduated to 48,000-spindle capacity. The mill, which saw profits over 45 years, started seeing losses in the Eighties. That was the first sign.

Then, the rice mills here followed suit, and experienced losses. This served a severe blow to industry in Davangere. Even as finger pointing between managements and unions continued, the one who suffered the most was the worker.

The garments made by the Siddeshwara Cotton Mill here had a demand even in foreign countries. That remains a mere memory now.

Labour unions

The labour unions in the mills raised their voices against exploitation. Later, union leaders such as Pampapathi and H K Ramachandrappa wielded power in the Municipal Council.

Rice mills

The city has over 380 rice mills, all run without the aid of modern technology. What these mills are famous for is the employment of children for cheap labour.

Even as industries in Davangere started to die a slow death, many educational institutions raised their heads here. Davangere’s first school came into being in 1900 and was called the Old Middle School.

This school laid a strong foundation for other educational institutions in the district. There are institutions such as the Bapuji Vidya Samsthe, the Jayadeva Jagadguru Murugharajendra Medical College (JJMC), Bapuji Dental College, Bapuji Nursing School, Bapuji Engineering College that have brought fame to the city.

The Davangere University was started in 2009, near Tolahunase. Interestingly, the city also has a high number of students’ hostels. One of the them, the Aadi Karnataka hostel, has the rare distinction of Mahatma Gandhi laying its foundation stone way back in 1934.

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