In an enlightment speech, Samantha said, “One day an exquisite sari caught my attention. Then my eyes fell on the price tag and I was taken aback. It would burn a deep hole in my pocket. When I enquired the reason of its hefty price, I was told that it was handloom. I was confused. On the one hand, there is a hue and cry about the dying handloom industry; on the other hand these products are priced very high. Somehow, it did not fit.”
This impelled Samantha to dig deeper, and what she found out broke her heart. “Earlier this year I visited many villages in Telangana. I met many wonderful men and women who dedicated their lives to handlooms. Unfortunately they earn one tenth of the prices at which their products are sold. It was disheartening. It is sad that the town and cities where the art once thrived is now fading away. The young generation does not want to take up the profession because it pays less.
The existing weavers migrate to cities, for other means of livelihood. Skilled weavers are labourers now in the city, watchmen in our houses. They do not want to weave anymore. I met a weaver who said, “If I die, it dies with me.” This is where I took this up seriously. Do we want to be a generation that caused the death of tradition and culture?”
“We want weavers to get due recognition, and also restore respect for their art. This has become my mission and is giving me a lot of purpose. I will do everything in my power to change the lives of the handloom sector of the state,” she concluded.