Millennium Post

With workers back home, garment industry takes a hit

With workers back home, garment industry takes a hit

New Delhi: Despite the Delhi government allowing normal business, it's the garment industry which might take a major hit as the migrant workers who formed the major workforce are back to their homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Asia's biggest readymade garment wholesale market in Gandhinagar is still struggling to stand on its feet despite the relaxation. The shops are open but the supply chain is hit.

"The summer sales has taken a huge blow. Also, many migrant workers have left. Only 30 to 40 percent are available for work now which has again resulted in huge loss. Moreover, transportation of readymade garments has become a problem due to restrictions across states," said Chandan, a businessman in Gandhinagar.

From stitching to transportation of the readymade garments, the workers played a key role in the market. However, the lockdown which has forced lakhs of migrants workers leave Delhi now seems to have an impact on the markets of Delhi and the cloth industry has suffered a major


"You don't have to go out to colleges, schools, marriages and parties so who is going to spend on garments? People have switched their priorities now. Even if everything becomes normal on paper it would take much time to bring business lifeline back to normal," Sandeep, another businessman said.

In the jeans market of Welcome in Seelampur in north-east Delhi, the manufacturing unit owners are also finding it hard to cope up with manpower crisis.

"As you are very well aware that majority of workers are from Bihar, UP and West Bengal. They left, many of them. Of course its having an impact on the sales and manufacturing of the jeans. We do have the demand list but we might not be able to match the supply because of the worker crisis," said Mohammad Mursaleen, a jeans trader in Welcome market.

However, while leaving Delhi, many of the workers complained that the owners did little to help them. Most of the help was either from NGOs or individual volunteers.

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