There are around 600 micro wall hangings units in Ghazipur employing 4,000 people; and their collective turnover hovers around Rs.650 crore, said an officer working at the state’s department of industries, requesting anonymity. The district housed around 12,000 micro units a decade ago.
“Most houses have arrangements for the manufacture of wall hangings. The wall hangings cluster is also known as Ballia cluster,” said Radhe Shyam, who runs a small wall hangings unit in Ghazipur.
“The reason for the decline of the industry is the lack of awareness and exposure to modern technology; no upgradation to weaving and dyeing technology resulting in poor quality products; the lack of promotion of our products and the lack of market information; and added to this is the rising cost of raw materials,” said Bimla, a weaver who runs a micro unit from her house .
“There is no association to represent the industry. The state government must take some measures to promote this form of art and prevent this industry from vanishing,” Bimla said.
“This is a very old source of income for the residents of Ghazipur but now people are increasingly switching to agriculture. The demand for jute wall hangings has decreased,” Shyam said.
“We do not get a large number of orders for jute wall hangings and the only people buying are tourists. We are still able to sell across northern India.
“In the past, traders would place large but now they buy only whatever is readily available,” he said