Flood hits weavers in Kendrapara

Kendrapara: The recent flood has ravaged the weaving-based economy of several villages in Marshaghai and Patkura areas of Kendrapara district with water damaging weavers` houses one after the other. As many 392 weaver families of 15 villages were badly affected by the flood, official source said today.

62 year-old Saraswati Sethy of Narasinghpur village had borrowed Rs 24,000 from a women`s self help group for installing a couple of looms in her house after her husband became immobile due to old-age ailments. With help from her son and daughter, she had been doing well but last month`s floodwater has reduced the scheduled caste woman`s looms and house to heaps of rubbles.

"Flood water washed away my house and looms in no time. It took away my source of income with it. I am still carrying the burden of a loan of Rs 15,000. There is little hope now to start the weaving occupation afresh," she said.

Like hers, more than a hundred looms were washed away in villages like Narasinghpur, Korua, Atabuha, Haripur, Kalabuda, Dihasahi, Nadiabarei and Ramachandrapur, the sources said. "Demand for hand-woven cotton clothes, towels and handkerchiefs have gone up in recent times. We were earning decent incomes from the looms. But the floods gave a blow to weaving sector," said Sudarshan Tarai of Kalabuda village.

"According to our assessment the weaving sector has suffered extensive damage. Many weavers have lost looms, accessories to raw materials. Unless they are compensated on time, most of them may give up weaving," said Nirmal Dalei, inspector of textiles in Kendrapara.