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Telangana saree sales soar through railway station outlets

Retail outlets in Telangana railway stations have made the State's handloom and handicrafts popular

Vigorously pursuing the Central Government’s project of One Station One Product, the South Central Railway now has 29 outlets covering 26 railway stations in Telangana State alone.

Initially OSOP was started at six stations as a pilot project for a period of 30 days in the zone. The positive and terrific response the authorities received from people, encouraged the zone to start more such outlets. At present 72 railway stations across SCR are covered with 77 such outlets. These retail outlets have helped the local products and handicrafts for the four States under SCR – Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka — to garner high visibility and resulted in higher sales.

In the case of Telangana, the 26 stations including Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Kacheguda, Warangal, Nizamabad, Gadwal among others through these stalls have given a major boost to livelihood and welfare of local artisans.

Some of the products which have gained prominence and popularity include handlooms by local weavers like the traditional Narayanpet, Gadwal and Pochampalli sarees; millet-based food products; Telangana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society’s products like saris, dress material and readymade shirt; Bhadrachalam bamboo crafts; temple deity idols; forest collections; Nirmal toys, local delicacies, etc.

Among the handloom sarees in Telangana, the famous varieties are Gadwal sarees and Narayanpet silk sarees.

Telangana Railway Station2
Passengers at the stations can now purchase local products at the station itself

The former is a handcrafted woven saree style from Jogulamba Gadwal district in which the weave is so light that the saree can be packed in a matchbox. The district of Narayanpet is renowned for its exquisite and unique cotton handloom and silk sarees, which are widely popular.

The recent emphasis on millet and millet-based products has resulted in seven stations having outlets which sell them. This will help in creating both local as well as global demand for millet.

OSOP was introduced by the Ministry of Railways to promote local/indigenous products by providing a market and creating additional income opportunities for the marginalized sections of society.

This has borne dividends as is evident from what some of the sellers had to say. Narayanapet’s self-help group Aarunya Handlooms, whose outlet is at Secunderabad Railway station — stated that the sale of handloom per day is Rs.3,500 and this goes up on festival seasons to Rs.5,000.

Likewise, V. Praveen, a weaver of Chenetha Sahakara Sangam which has a stall at Nizamabad Railway station, said in the past they were dependent on the retailers but now, the Chenetha clothes are getting more famous among the passengers.