Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Powerloom - the ultimate business
(Picture by Asif Ansari)
Malegaon's textile industry:
Malegaon might be known for its thriving film industry, Mollywood, that often pay homage to Hindi films, albeit in its own unique form.
But today the quintessential powerloom has put this small town on the global map. Over one lakh powerlooms form the backbone of this town’s thriving textile industry.
Electricity was provided to Malegaon in 1936 and the first powerloom was purchased and installed by Abdur Razzaque Seth the same year. Prior to this, the city only had handlooms.
In 1936, a total of 10 powerloom machines were installed in Malegaon. By the late 80s, the handloom industry in the city had almost become dormant. In 1935, Razzaque Seth had installed a loom which was being provided energy through a diesel engine.
In 1883, the British government had conducted a survey of handlooms in Malegaon. As per the survey report, there were 2,441 handlooms being operated by 1,600 Muslims weavers. The handloom industry flourished betweeen 1910 and 1935.
Around five lakh people are dependent on this industry. The remuneration to the labourers is given on Friday, a weekly salary system. The labourers are called, Karigar, while the supervisor is called a mukadam while women and children look after the small unit of raw material making machine known as tarashan. A labourer earns an average remuneration between Rs 700 and Rs 1,000 a week. The owners of these powerloom units are referred as Seth.
The powerloom units manufacture clothes like polyester, Kemeric, lungis, sarees etc. The Malegaon lungis are famous across the country and the sarees are mostly exported to Rajasthan, Gujarat and interior parts of Maharashtra.
The cloth material prepared in these powerloom units/factories is exported to Surat, Rajasthan, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Madhya Pradesh and foreign countries too. There are several committees for the protection of powerloom owners like Malegaon powerloom Action Committee, Powerloom Sangharsh Samiti, Powerloom uddyog Bachao Samiti and Powerloom owners Association (registered).
Today, there are over one-lakh powerlooms in the town which prepare more than 1.10 crore metre clothes a day. The Malegaon Municipal Corporation earns around Rs 40 crores per annum through this industry in the form of octroi and other taxes.