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Inflation hits Uttar Pradesh's age-old cottage embroidery industry

Gorakhpur , Sat, 24 Jul 2010 ANI

Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), July 24 (ANI): Facing heavy losses, the artistic and highly acclaimed embroidery business in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city, is in dire straits after being caught in an endless abyss of rising prices and low incomes.he local workers said the advent of modern technology and machinery has phased out the market for handmade products churned out by the centuries-old embroidery industry, which has spelt a doom for the business.


The rising inflation and a significant dip in profits has shattered the budgets of the low-income households of the industry's workforce, who have already been hit hard by last years global economic downturn.


As a result, the dark specter of joblessness and poverty is haunting thousands of craftsmen and artisans of the industry, as they face an uncertain future.


"At present, the situation is very grim for the embroidery industry in Gorakhpur. The craftsmen are facing poverty and hunger. Due to computers and machines, the work has significantly reduced for workers like us, who work by hand," said Akhtar Hussain, a craftsman.


Meanwhile, the women artisans, who form a major chunk of the embroidery workforce, feel that they might have to shut down their shops if the losses continue at the same rate.


Stung by financial deprivation, these household businesses also include children to support them at work, propelling rampant child labour across the industry.


From teenagers to young, even preteen girls are a part of the workforce, who have either never been to school or are dropouts.


"I used to go to school earlier, but then dropped out to support my family. My father also does not earn much, so we have to do this to sustain ourselves," said Asma Khatoon, a 17-year-old worker.


The workers further alleged that their work fetches only Rs 300-350 per household, which makes it difficult for them to survive.


"We work really hard, but there is no income. A slump has come over the market, due to which we earn a very small amount for our work and toil. All this is due to machines and technology," said Sufia Khatoon, a worker. (ANI)


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