Come Sankranti, everyone in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana purchases Ponduru Khadi to celebrate the festival of harvest. But this year, the popular Khadi product received a body blow from an unexpected quarter. Demonetisation adversely affected the purchase of cotton and sale of finished products of khadi leaving the khadi handloom workers in the lurch.
Generally, Sankranti is the season for Ponduru Khadi, the sales of which that touches a high during the season. However, due to the non-availability of currency notes, there are no purchases and sales so far. Though the cash is in their accounts, there is no way to pay the workers by way of hard currency.
There are at least 800 khadi weavers working for the Andhra Fine Khadi Karmikabhivrudhi Sangham (AFKKS) in Ponduru, G Singadam and Santakaviti mandals in the district. These workers needed to be paid Rs 3 lakh by the society every week for purchasing the cotton yarn from them. The weavers needed to be paid wages once a month. The Society could not purchase full stock of cotton yarn during the last one month, but could procure only half of the cotton yarn from the workers but could not pay the price to them.
Following high demand for yarn, a number of workers started making yarn almost doubling the production. But due to the demonetization, they could not be paid the wages though they are supplying yarn. The society used to sell khadi worth Rs 1 lakh every day during the festive season of Sankranti.