Thursday, July 1, 2010

The original malkha production unit was registered in late 2008 as a micro enterprise, the Kranti Nulu Vastrautpathi Vikraya Kendram which translates roughly as Revolutionary Yarn & Fabric Production & Sale Centre. It has fitted itself smoothly into the local handloom culture of Chirala, using the existing skills of sizing, warping and of course the actual weaving. KNVVK is managed by the six machine operators [one more has been recently inducted] who buy the lint, turn it into yarn, send the yarn to the dye-houses, get the dyed yarn wound and sized into warps, and distribute warps and weft yarn to weavers. Weavers deliver the fabric to KNVVK who send it to Malkha Marketing Trust by transport each month. KNVVK also handles all its own financial dealings, accounting and documentation, in fact all the business aspects of the enterprise. The greatest disadvantage which KNVVK and all the other malkha production centres face is the lack of reliable electrical power. Not only are there long stretches of the day with no power, but there is no time-table for the power cuts, so that it is impossbile to plan production.

MMT has helped them learn financial management, and is committed to buy all their production, at least upto 2000 metres per month - the unit breaks even at 1400 metres. MMT also helps out with advance payments to tide over gaps in production. Quality is KNVVK's responsibility.

It is a remarkable achievement that this group which began with none of the advantages of educational qualifications has turned itself from employees to management, and that too of a complex production process.

Sales at the recent event in Bangalore were satisfactory, and we were able to introduce malkha to new customers who had missed the malkha stall at last year's Nature Bazaar. The new variations of prints were popular, and we hope to have matching plains in fabric-dyed colours from Kutch for the first time in August.

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