Andhra Pradesh’s weavers criticise APCO- Amazon partnership
today Dec 5, 2019
A number of weavers’ societies in Andhra Pradesh have criticised the Andhra Pradesh Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society’s decision to team up with e-commerce giant Amazon to promote handloom goods.
Following the memorandum of understanding signed by Amazon and APCO on Tuesday that will see APCO sell handloom clothing and other products online, a number of weavers’ representatives spoke against the deal, TNN reported.
Andhra Pradesh is home to around 900 weavers’ societies who claim that APCO owes them close to Rs 100 crore ($15 million) towards arrears.
“APCO showrooms are spread across the country but are not being maintained properly,”the chairman of the state federation of weavers’ cooperative societies, Donthamsetty Virupaksham, told TNN. “They should be renovated first.”
Virupaksham also questioned the proposed online product selection for APCO.
“Online products are mostly bought by rich and educated people,” said Virupaksham. “But online buyers also prefer good and quality products like Uppada Jamdani sarees which are not procured by APCO. Handloom products mainly cater to the needs of the poor and middle-class people.”
The government of Andra Pradesh has promised Rs 24,000 per year to every weaver who has a loom in a bid to encourage craftspeople to return to the profession.
However, APCO has said that it must first receive Rs 176 crore from social welfare hostels in the state for textiles supplied before it can pay the weavers’ societies the money it owes.
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