Coronavirus takes shine off Yelandur's silk industry

Karnataka: Coronavirus takes shine off Yelandur's silk-related industry

silk rout

The silk thread unit that has stopped functioning at Mamballi in Yalandur taluk, Chamarajanagar district.

The global health crisis following the outbreak of the Coronavirus has, in an indirect way, has hit the silk-related industry in the taluk.

The crisis has affected more than 400 families, which are dependent on the industry, in the taluk. More than 400 families eke out a living by producing China sheet, silk threads and other products related to silk. These products are in demand from Chinese traders.

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, the union government has temporarily restricted the entry of visitors from China into India, as a precautionary measure. Thus, there are no buyers for the produce from Yelandur.

Thousands of people, in Mamballi, Agara and other villages in the taluk, are involved in the silk-related industry for several years now.

The produce was supplied to the silk market in Ramanagar. The traders from China used to purchase the goods from the market for a good price, supporting the traders from Yelandur.

Shakeel Ahmed, who is involved in silk business in Mamballi, said, “We require 200 kg cocoons of ‘neeru gantu goodu and ‘Gollegoodu’ variety every day. This is processed to produce the China sheet. Two labourers from Bihar are employed for this. This also provides employment to local women, along with transport facility. With the outbreak of Coronavirus, the demand for silk products has come down.”

“The price of the produce has crashed. On the other hand, the price of cocoons has increased. Business has stopped for now, as we are unable to bear the expenditure,” Ahmed said.

“There are around 400 families in Mamballi, dependent on the manufacture of silk products. A number of women are also employed. There are 200 handlooms and 20 powerlooms, which have not operated for the past several days. Only 20 to 30 families are currently involved in the manufacture of the products. Hundreds of people are facing the threat of losing their jobs,” said Ramanna of the village.

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