HYDERABAD: Dress makers from the Old City, known far and wide for dazzling handcrafted attires that were heavily patronised during weddings and festivities are now struggling for survival.
Like many other sectors, coronavirus has impacted these skilful artisans and businesses with many shopkeepers saying that they are finding it difficult to pay rent and salaries to their employees. The craftsmen, who lace up dresses with mirrors, stone, zari or pearls rue that there is not much work for them and they are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Sohil Hussain of Madina Collection at Bibi Bazar, Talab Katta, in the Old City, said “the sales have fallen drastically. Even festivals and the weddings could not get us to the break-even point. Customers are not even showing interest despite the 40 percent discount that we are offering.”
Shaik Arshad, an employee in the shop, said “normally, the items most in demand are women wear such as lada dupatta, fish-cut dress, ghagras and salwar Suits. These are available in a price range of Rs 2,000 and to Rs 20,000, depending on the workmanship that goes into them. Before the pandemic, we would see a lot of customers and good sales in the days running up to Diwali. Now the festival is just a few days away and we see no buyers.”
Craftsmen who work on the dresses have less work nowadays, says Zuhaib Ansari of Muskaan Hussain Magum Works at Chandulal Bela, Sha Ali Banda.
“We would get good orders from wedding parties. Now there are hardly any weddings and the parties and receptions are fewer. Now despite the work that we are getting, the pay is significantly less, comparatively speaking,” he said.