This group of skilled workers looking for buyers for their locally-made jeans
A group of five skilled tailors, who used to work in a jeans manufacturing company in Mumbai but were forced to return to their homes in the Jasra development block of Prayagraj district, have stayed back and with some support set up a jean’s making workshop. In just one year, the group has employed 20 workers who are now working in their small factory manufacturing jeans.
As the main tailor of the team (called a master in Hindi) Kamlesh Pal recalls, it was the first week of April 2020 when the effect of nationwide lockdown was felt by all.
“I owned a small factory at Ullasnagar of Mumbai and with the staff of 16 persons, our world changed overnight. All the workers of my factory were either from my village Parsara or from Kaushambi and we all decided to return as suddenly all orders dried up and we had nowhere to sell the product,” said Pal.
However, the situation was equally challenging for these expert tailors back in their village. But with the support of the NRLM block mission manager Ved Prakash Dwivedi, timely help arrived in the shape of a self-help group (SHG) of the block of which their wives were members. A loan of ₹7 lakh was provided to them and these expert tailors opened their workshop wherein their wives too were engaged.
The first few months were fine for the group of 20 people who operated the factory, but the second wave of the pandemic brought back the challenging times.
The team comprising of expert workers like Pravesh Prajapati, Ram Bahadur, Shiv Bahadur, Pramod Prajapati, Tej Bahadur Pal and Preetika Shukla among others are putting best of their efforts but lack an avenue to sell their jeans to a wider range of buyers and the sluggish pace of the retail market is posing huge problems for them.
“We have prepared dresses for students at government schools as well besides the jeans. First, it was the problem of procuring the raw material and now is the finished product (Denim jeans) for which we are struggling to find a market. Today we have around 500 jeans prepared but there are no buyers,” said Kamlesh.
National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) block mission manager Ved Prakash Dwivedi said, “The need of the hour is that the final product of these expert tailors should get proper branding as their product is of top quality. The only problem is they should get exposure to the market in the city.”
Gradually the branding will be done so that the goods will start selling well, he added.