In Kerala’s Balaramapuram, the weaving industry is seeing a huge financial crisis amidst the pandemic. Around 800 weaver families are now looking at poor sales prospects during the festive season of Onam. This has only added to the woes.
Generally, August is one of the busiest times of the year for these handloom weavers. The demand for traditional cotton kasavu saree, set-mundu, and other types of weaves go up before the Onam festival.
This year, the handloom industry in Balaramapuram is seeing low demand. A full year into the covid-19 pandemic and the year 2021 has turned out even worse for the weavers in Kerala as their businesses have completely shut.
The pandemic had hit Onam sales last year, and it is uncertain whether the seasonal sales will be possible this year or not. Lack of resources and sales is a challenge for these weavers. The cost of materials has varied over the period of time and that has become a challenge for the weavers.
Last month, while addressing Non-Resident Keralites’ organisations and Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action’s representatives, the Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan urged them to help the Balaramapuram handloom industry survive the adverse impacts of COVID-19.