Odisha’s Tailoring Village: Tailor Each In All 400 Families

Jaleswar: Have your ever wondered who makes the uniforms that your children wear to school? Well most of them. especially those worn by children in Anganwadi centres are stitched in Gobardhanpur, a village in Kotasahi panchayat under Jaleswar block in Balasore district.

Practically every man and woman in this village is a tailor. Tailoring is the main source of livelohood in this village. Located on the banks of Subarnarekha, the 400 families of this village belong to the Jogi community. Although they also grow paddy, floods wash away the crop every year. Tailoring is the next best thing they know.

Their major work order is for uniforms of schoolchildren from schools and Anganwadi centres in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts. They also sew women’s garments. These are supplied to wholesalers to be sold in big cities.

For most of the families here, tailoring is a tradition, which has been passed on from one generation to another. “Besides uniforms, we sew shirts, churidars, pillow covers, blouses and other dresses,” said a villager.
The sewing machines machines too, are like a family heirloom. They have been used for generations. Some of the villagers who own modern machines make a better profit since they can make innovative designs.

The clothes and threads come from Kolkata. The investment for making a shirt is Rs 70 to 80 and it fethces them Rs 100 to 110, for trousers, it is Rs 60 to 70 per and it sells for Rs 90 to Rs 100. Churidar for ladies is the costliest. The investment required is Rs 150 per piece and it is sold for Rs 190 to 200.

The tailors rue the fact that no government help is forthcoming to them. Availability of loans at reasonable interest rates can enable them to purchase better machines and they can make better garments. As of now, there are limitations to what they can churn out, so they just stick to making the basics.

“Upgradation of skills will enable us to meet the demands of the current market but for that we need government help,” said a tailor.

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