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Bhagalpur craftsmen face unprecedented crisis
May '09
The once famous silk of Bhagalpur, is now loosing its sheen. The industry is suffering from numerous issues like lack of credit, power shortage, and increasing competition from the other silk manufacturing centers.

The industry makes 2 million meters of silk in a year. After reaching a decent figure of Rs.3,500 crore in 2007, silk exports are predicted to fall to Rs.2,000 crore in 2009. Many looms in Bhagalpur are dependent on generator power. Bhagalpur gets power barely for two hours in a day. Chronic power cuts in the state have worsened the problem.

The craftsmen are average people, with many of them living below the poverty line. Most of them take loans from the market for an interest rate of 5% for a month. With the payments for their cloth getting delayed, they face problems in repayment of their loans.

While the skilled Bhagalpuri craftsmen make fancy fabrics for the elite people of the society, their lives always are in darkness. Possibilities exist that; weavers might shift to alternate source of earning, and leave the age old weaving tradition.

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Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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