Gone are those days when the Indian weavers used to reap highest profit during the winters, courtesy the Chinese and Korean blankets and quilts.
The weavers who throng in different parts of the northern region from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh claim that their business has hit rock bottom as the readymade blankets and quilts from China and Korea has captured the market giving reduced scope for work for the indigenous weavers.
Earlier, hundreds of weavers from Bihar used to come to Pathankot and its adjoining areas but these days only handful labourers, permanently employed in some units are coming to weave the local quilts, also known as Razais.
Sameer Alam from Muzzaffarpur, Bihar, said he had been coming here for past 10 years but due to reduced work opportunity, many of his friends have stopped coming to Pathankot.
"Earlier, I used to live here permanently but now I don't stay here for more than six months as demand of my work has decreased. Readymade quilts and blankets from China and Korea have grasped the market,"he lamented.
Amit Aggarwal, who runs a unit of locally made quilts said, "With the change in time, now people in villages have also started using the Chinese and Korean blankets and quilts."
"The price of cotton shooting from `100 to `130 per kg has also dented our industry,"he said adding that labour crunch was also increasing the price of their products.
"We are facing a tough time to compete with the Chinese and Korean products. Indian government should take some initiatives resolve the issue which is affecting our bread and butter,"he rued.