Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Bihar's handloom and power loom industry

Last Modified: Sun May 24 2020 06:11:54 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 11,000
    Estimated number of power looms in Gaya district of Bihar. Gaya was once known as the ‘Manchester of Bihar' due to the large size of its weaving community.
  • 5,000
    Approximate number of households in Gaya district whose livelihood depends on the power loom industry.
  • ?
    Number of power looms in Patwa Toli - a locality in the Manpur block of the Gaya district, traditionally known for its weavers but now known as the ‘IIT factory’ of Bihar,
  • 35,000 - 45,000
    Estimated number of residents of Patwa Toli whose livelihoods are tied to the power looms in the area. They are involved in activities such as dyeing, bleaching, trading and transport. In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown since 25 Mar 2020, they lost their livelihoods.
  • 200,000
    Approximate number of gamchhas, the traditional towel, manufactured in Patwa Toli power looms in a day. Apart from gamchhas, they produce bedsheets which have a market in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Since the start of the lockdown, production has come to a complete halt. Moreover the supply of yarn has stopped.
  • 5,000,000
    Estimated number of gamchas that manufacturers are unable to sell even though there is demand due to the lockdown. Consignment of gamchhas that had been sent to West Bengal and Odisha are stuck midway too. All of this has compounded the financial situation of the power loom manufacturers and the people who depend on them for their livelhood.
  • 15 Apr 2020
    Order issued by Union Ministry of Home Affairs allowing power looms to operate in the state with strict observance of guidelines laid down by the administration.
  • 1,500
    Number of units that are currently operating - mostly those that were fortunate to have prior stock of yarn. The partial re-opening has provided about 5,000 people employment for now. But for the 30,000 odd people who are still out in the cold, there is a question mark over their future.
  • 15,000
    Estimated number of power looms in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. Gaya was once known as the city of silk. The district also has an estimated 4,000 handlooms.
  • 30,000
    Approximate number of households in Bhagalpur district whose livelihood depends on the power loom industry. Another 1,500 households depend on the handlooms.