How a Pochampally weaver’s son invented a machine to make life easier for his mother and won a Padma Shri in the process.
As a young boy, Chintakindi Mallesham would watch as his mother Lakshmi, a handloom weaver, laboured for hours, winding metres of silk yarn on to a large frame — a process called asu that is integral to the creation of the exquisite Pochampally Ikat sari. In this often painful process, the weaver has to stretch her arms continuously to wind yarn around two sets of pegs on either end of a four-foot structure before the sari is woven. Lakshmi’s shoulders and elbows would ache from the repetitive work, and Mallesham, a Class VI dropout from Aler village in Telangana’s Yadadri district, made up his mind to ease his mother’s pain.
Now famous as the innovator of the ‘Asu machine’, which processes yarn mechanically, Mallesham, 42, was awarded the Padma Shri this Republic Day — but more than the award itself, he is grateful for the recognition it has brought to the weavers of the Pochampally Ikat tradition.................Read more
Source: The Hindu