As a gift from the State government to women across the State on the occasion of Bathukamma festival, 1.02 crore sarees will be distributed from September 23, IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said on Thursday. Speaking during a display of Bathukamma sarees here, Rao said all the sarees were produced in powerloom clusters in Siricilla at a cost of Rs 313 crore, with each saree costing about Rs.300.

The sarees were made of 100 per cent polyester filament yarn with zari border in 100 different shades i.e., in 10 designs and 10 different colour combinations. Out of 1.02 crore sarees, six yard-long sarees were 92 lakh while another 10 lakh were of nine yards.

The main objective of the project was to provide continuous employment to powerlooms weavers with increased wages in order to improve their living standards and also to honour the women of Telangana with a gift on the occasion of Bathukamma festival, he said.

Rao said the sarees were produced at around 26,000 powerlooms, providing employment

to 16,000 weavers. Since the inception of the Bathukamma saree distribution programme, Rs.715 crore was spent in Siricilla, including Rs.122 crore in 2017, Rs.280 crore in 2018 and Rs.313 crore in 2019, he said.

“The State government has come to the rescue of powerloom weavers who earlier used to struggle with minimal wages. Through this project, the income of weavers has increased from Rs 8,000-12,000 to Rs.16,000-20,000 per month,” he added.

The skill levels of weavers too had improved, with the confidence of the weaver to weave new designs and varieties too going up, Rao said adding that though the textile industry was in distress, Siricilla was vibrant because of the support of government.

Meanwhile, 75 lakh sarees have been sent to the districts with the rest of them to be distributed once the production is completed. According to officials, over 95 lakh sarees were distributed in 2017 while 96.70 lakh sarees were distributed in 2018.

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