The Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, which has become synonymous with Naxalism, backwardness and poverty, has created two hubs of readymade garments. The clothing brand of the factory is registered under the name DANNEX.
With the efforts of local women and the district administration, four units of Nava Dantewada Garments Factory are coming up in this area where more than 1,000 poor women will get employment.
The first unit of the factory has been established in Geedam block of the district and the second unit in Barsur and the production work has already been started.
The women registered in the factory are currently undergoing training in the methods of industrial production. On completion of 45 days of training, women were also given an incentive amount of Rs 3,500.
The administration believes that setting up of a garment hub in the Dantewada district will also help in preventing the inclination of unemployed youth and women towards Maoism.
The local officials told News18 that all the women undergoing training in the factory belong to the below poverty line (BPL) category, who already knew sewing and tailoring but had no permanent means of employment.
At the same time, they did not know about the industrial production of clothes, for which they are now being trained.
“The Nava Dantewada Garments Factory is envisaged to improve the economy of the people living below the poverty line in Dantewada district. The administration first identified women through a survey and then a training programme was made for the proper use of their skills. At present, about 150 women are undergoing training. The production work will be started after the training. Two units of the factory with about 100 sewing machines have been established, two more units will be operational in the coming 3-4 months," Dantewada District Collector Deepak Soni told News18.
Deepak Soni says that the garments hub in the district will prove to be helpful in future in keeping the youth and women away from the propaganda of Naxalites.
Soni said, “Most of those who go with the Maoists are unemployed youths. If they will get respectable employment, then why will they go on the wrong path. With this, we will be able to stop the local young generation from going on the path of Naxalism in time.”
Anju Yadav, who has completed training in the factory, said: “I used to do sewing work at home, but could earn only Rs 2,000 in a month with great difficulty.”
Now with the opening of the factory, they get an income of Rs 7,000 every month.
Another woman working here says, “Earlier, we used to work in the village or the field. They did not earn enough to help in the house. But now we are independent. Along with this, we are also getting to learn new fashion designs.”
Not only this, many garment brands of the country, police and CRPF have signed MoUs with DANNEX.
The 18-year-old Champa, who came here to learn sewing, said that she has been provided with free automatic sewing machines by the factory.
“I have come to know about this factory from my gram panchayat. It is a boon for those who are looking for good employment opportunities in the State. We were told that once we complete the work, an amount of Rs 10,000 will be paid.”
Deepak Soni said, “An organisation named Farmers Producers Organization (FPO) has been registered by the district administration under the Companies Act, which will trade all types of goods manufactured by local tribal farmers. Under this, Nava Dantewada Garments Factory will work in manufacturing DANNEX brand garments. It has taken more than 6 months to execute this entire plan.”
According to Soni, “The initial branding of DANNEX will be done by the Central Institute TRIFED, NMDC, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and State Police. An agreement has been signed between the factory and these institutions to outsource the dress materials. TRIFED will also outsource its other products to DANNEX.
Basant Sharma, the coordinator of the factory, says, “The DANNEX brand is derived from the slogan ‘Dantewada Next’. The brand name has been chosen as per the requirement of the modern market which will have an appeal among the consumers.
Complete arrangements are also being made for its marketing. Initially, only about 7-8 types of products of DANNEX are being manufactured. This includes shirts, t-shirts, kurtas, women’s suits and kurtis but their number will be increased later.
The DANNEX products will be priced between ₹700 and Rs 1,200.
Officials say that most of the clothes of DANNEX are being designed keeping in mind the middle-income consumer of the country.
According to Basant Sharma, “The price of clothes will be around ₹700 and Rs 1,200 because the largest consumer segment of clothes buys at this price. However, this is not the final decision. There will be no compromise in the quality of the garments as we have to compete with the already established brands in the market.”
Raw materials from Gujarat and Maharashtra
The Nava Dantewada Garments Factory will get raw materials from Mumbai and Ahmedabad to make DANNEX readymade garments.
According to officials, the quantity of raw material has not been decided yet but it will be done soon. It can also be modified according to the orders received by the factory.
• On April 25, the first consignment of 27,500 shirts worth Rs 1.65 crore went to Bengaluru.
• On May 25, a consignment of 16,500 readymade garments worth Rs 1 crore was sent to Bengaluru.
• 20,000 shorts worth Rs 1 crore were dispatched to Bengaluru and Delhi on June 20.
• On June 26, 13,000 readymade garments worth Rs 1 crore were dispatched.
• On July 31, 50,000 cars worth Rs 3 crore were dispatched.