Introduction: Ever since the author is in touch with this Power loom Industry for last 37 years of his career, he finds that this largest Power loom sector is always suffering due to one or another cause. Despite the same, the number of Power looms in Bhiwandi is gradually increasing and the unofficial fig has reached up to 10.5 lakhs. (Official Fig is 6 lakh). The Shuttle less looms are approx. 10,000 (F2F) and majority of them are China flexible rapier looms. Slowly, the High speed Flexible Rapier, Air Jet, Water Jet and Sulzer looms are being introduced.
It is found that those weavers manufacture special value-added fabrics like Furnishing cloths, decorative fabrics, technical textiles, export quality suiting & Shirting’s are not in bad situation. Their perspectives are different than a common weaver who always whimpering not knowing the solutions nor try to resolve.
 Why they feel so? Discussion: The common weavers who are in the Majority face the problems due to the following reasons.
- No innovative ideas, not willing to go for any new product developments.
- Lack in R&D conception or culture.
- No initiative in Technical Upgradation.
- Do not pay proper attention towards loom maintenance. They do not have the conception of Man, Machine, Material, Method & Management. For every suffering, they focus on Supply yarn and demand discount. For them, every fabric fault that occurs are due to the supply yarn either warp or weft. Hence the relationship between the Raw material supplier and weavers gets stained.
- Will try to purchase the low quality/Substandard yarn and try to get the fabric Dyed which are not guaranteed but for any fault after Dyeing they will put blame on the yarn.
- They procure yarns from more than one yarn supplier, but for any problem such as poor working, defective fabric formation, put blame on all the yarn suppliers. Unable to show any proper Invoice, any proper proof but deduct amount of the yarn suppliers. It becomes a tough situation for the Customer service team to understand the realities and the bitterness increases.
- The conception of “Quality First” is missing among those common weavers and try to follow unfair practices in selling the cloths.
- They Do not try to train the weavers in the conception that if trained, they will leave the factory, and join somewhere with higher wages. However, some of them have taken the advantages from ISDS (Integrated Skill Development Scheme. Ministry of Textile) but it was not a successful scheme as per the author.
- Today every Industry requires Skilled workforce from the Top to Bottoms. The Authors have observed that the weavers put excess and unnecessary oils on Looms, creating oil stains on the fabrics and wasting the Machine oils. Skill workforce is not available in readymade, but it requires to create by proper Trainings. The MoT and TRA etc must restart ISDS in a more sophisticated way, not like earlier which was a failure! Skill workforce will improve Quality, product efficiency and reduce wastages.
- They have the poor sales network and dependent on Traders, Brokers who dominate the cloth sales price. They should form cooperative or individual sales network.
- The common Power loom weavers who are in the majority do not approach to the TRA`s, or to any Service Centers in a fear of “Consulting Charges” or in the conception that “may not get any suitable benefit”. But they must approach to get proper Technical and commercial solutions from the Service centers which should be free. Today the role of the TRA`s are under the question marks. That should be modernized.
- The Authors feel that the power loom Service centers should be converted into Service Cum Training Centers under MSME or MoT so that the young people can come from the rural areas, get training about Power looms, (operation, maintenance, beam gaiting and knotting, Sales and Marketing) and can start their own entrepreneurship in their native places or can opt for the Jobs in the Power looms (Auto or Ordinary looms). During Training period, Stipend can be paid for the motivation. Side by Side the owners would Register their names to get the trained people at free of Cost. The Authors also feel that Dormitory type paid accommodation on “no profit no loss basis” can be arranged so that the people from the Rural areas do not face any problem as newcomers.
- The weavers must be motivated to fight their own battles in their own way best suitable for them without expecting any loan from the Banks. All the Technical & Commercial guidance will be given by the TRA`s and service centers but not to Expect any Bank loan. However, they can have their own cooperative societies, Community Services, or Financiers who can help them in coming up.
- There was the scheme for “Yarn Bank”, but it was not a successful idea as the Yarn prices fluctuates almost every day. However, they can form group and can purchase in huge quantity and instantly directly from the yarn manufacturers where they can avail huge discount. Then they can share among themselves (say the group of 10 – 15 people) those who require similar Denier or Count. That will give them huge relief.
- For their best survival, the wastages generated in their looms towards Bottoms of the Pirns and Beam wastages, can be recycled towards upwards Directions to fetch higher returns. Today they sale it at a very lower Prices. Proper trainings can be offered by the Service centers or TRAs
- The Power Consumption is another problem in Bhiwandi apart from the power Cut. The weavers can be made awareness how to reduce power Consumption by proper Loom maintenance, reducing the watts of the Tube Lights, and by creating the awareness “Switch off the lights/ fans when not required”.
- Labor charges are getting increased year to year and for that matter there should be understandings between the Owners and the workforce. The salaries of the jobbers and Asst jobbers, Pirn winders are fixed depending on the number of Looms, but the beam gaiters, warpers, Drawers, richer, Oil man, Fitters, weavers are in piece rates. The salaries cannot be compromised because of the inflations and motivation.
- Today the small-time weavers (say 30 looms and below) has kept only one jobber cum fitter cum beam gaiter for all the 24 hours. The piecing, drawings are done on contractual basis (as and when required), the weavers are getting salaries as per the picks. The weavers run 4-6- 8 looms to get higher wages and that benefits the owners also. In auto looms and in medium Size (say 40 to 80) Ord Loom Sheds, an Asst jobber is kept at night. The rate of the weavers is also reduced but they work because of the nonavailability’s of other jobs. Most of the loom owners still feel uncomforted and express unhappiness that they can`t afford higher salaries.
- Leaving the job by the weavers and misc staffs is very common and that creates vacuum several times. It becomes more critical for the Auto or shuttle less loom owners. If there would be service Centre cum training Institutions, the chances of the availability of the skill operators are always better.
- Arrangement of the accommodation for the Migrant workers who are in 80% will solve huge problems.
- In Bhiwandi there should be more Textile Parks for the selling of their products instantly.
- There is as such no Dye House in Bhiwandi and the weavers need to spend huge amount towards transportation to send their cloth products outside for wet processing.
- After Carona -19, the power looms are gaining slowly momentum but till Sept `21, hardly 60 % are working. However, the auto looms and the quality producers are in good condition. The Migrant workers are also returning from their native places. One new phenomenon has started that some of states have started giving free ration, small time allowances to the people and they are reluctant to come at Bhiwandi where they face tough working conditions.
- The poor infrastructure, bad road conditions, poor sanitization in the slum areas, improper health services are the big hurdles for the improvements in the Bhiwandi Power loom areas.
 Conclusions: Bhiwandi is progressing though in slow motion despite of all constraints. This biggest power loom sector must be modernized with the upbringing of the new concepts. The Mindset of the Power loom weavers are to be improved for their own benefits. Let them realize that profitability increases with more technical know-how, diversifications, and with innovative ideas. The profits cannot be earned by avoiding the honesties. The newer generations are to be involved who can have the greater acceptance power. The TRAs and the Service centers are to be revamped for the true sense of services. Weaver training centers are to be started in large scale that will improve the Skills of the weavers. There are lots of scopes to improve this largest Power loom sectors with support from MoT, Service Centers, TRAs etc.
By. B.Basu , Textile Consultant.
Ex Scientist, BTRA,
Retired G.M. Reliance Ind.
Ex -in charge, Power loom service center, Sasmira, Bhiwandi.
Ex faculty and T& P Officer, AEC, Chikhli, SGGS, Nanded. Ex visiting faculty, VJTI.
Published 71 Papers in National & International Level.