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Summer time, Bhagalpuri ‘gamchhas’, ‘topis’ making hay


PATNA: Come elections, and Bihar’s weavers are hard-pressed to meet the demand for the supply of specially designed Bhagalpuri ‘gamchhas’ (towels) and ‘topis’ (caps) to political parties and party workers across the country.

Bihar’s ‘gamchhas-topis’ are likely to turn out to be important dressing accessories for leaders and workers hitting the campaign trail in various states in scorching summer during upcoming Lok Sabha election due next month.

State’s weavers, particularly from Bhagalpur (known as Silk City of Bihar), are enthusiastic over the growing demands for ‘gamchhas’ and topis’ following the announcement of elections. They are working overnight to meet the demand.

Former Bihar Weavers Welfare Committee member Aleem Ansari said more than 3,000 weaves were engaged in weaving ‘gamchhas’ in Bhagalpur as a single weaver was weaving 24 gamchhas on a single day, earning Rs 200-300 per day.

With other family members also involved in weaving gamchas, a single family is earning more than Rs 1,000 a day. Weavers are getting orders from various states, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar. Orders have been received from various states to weave 20 lakh saffron ‘gamchhas’, he said, adding that maximum orders are being received from West Bengal. From Bhagalpur, four lakh ‘gamchhas’ will be supplied to Bengal while 2.5 lakh ‘gamchhas’ to Jharkhand.

There is already 30% more demand for ‘Bhagalpur gamchha’ in comparison with the last year. For women, Bhagalpuri suits and dupattas are also being weaved in huge numbers in view of election. “There are female workers and party leaders who prefer to wear ‘suits’ and ‘dupattas’ during electioneering,” said Mukhtar Ansari, a weaver.

Similarly, Bhagalpur-based weavers have orders to supply 10 lakh each green ‘gamchhas and topis’ to leaders and workers in Bihar. A ‘gamchha’ costs Rs 100-120, and ‘topi’ is arounf Rs 80 -Rs 120, said a shopkeeper.

5,000 weavers involved in gruelling work

Around 5,000 weavers are engaged in manufacturing ‘gamchhas’ and ‘topis’ for political party leaders and workers. Despite adverse weather conditions, these weavers remain committed to delivering high-quality ‘gamchhas’ and ‘topis’, which undergo meticulous preparation involving dyeing and sun-drying processes.