Burmese weavers leave Mizoram to work in Burma

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The number of Burmese weavers working in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state, northeast India has decreased appreciably from the end of 2012.

The decrease is due to decline in the money exchange rate between Indian currency and the Burmese. Most Burmese have gone back to their native land following an increase in weaving factories in Burma over the last two years, said a local.

“Most Burmese weavers have gone back from Mizoram. The rest will also go back. Now, around 500 out of 800 Burmese weavers stay in Zawngtui block of Aizawl,” said a Burmese weaver from Aizawl.

It is learnt that relations between factory owners in Burma and Burmese weavers have been improving and the wage of weavers has also increased after Burmese weavers returned to Burma.

A weaving factory owner from Kalemyo, Sagaing division told Khonumthung that more weaving factories were being built to improve the chances of local people’s livelihood by the new government of Burma in Myitkyina Town of Kachin state, Mungzua and Kalemyo.

“The products of weaving factories are imported to Tahan and Kalemyo, in Sagaing division, Mandalay, Rangoon and Naypyidaw,” said a weaver from Kalemyo.

“Weaving factories are increasing in Kalemyo also day by day. Almost every household of Tangta block in Kalemyo have weaving factories,” said a local.

Most Burmese weavers, who work in weaving factories in Mizoam, are from Mungzua, Shwebo, Kalemyo and Chin state, Burma.

A Burmese handloom weaver can earn from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 a week and save only around Rs. 200 per week for their families. Frequent deportations among Burmese workers in Mizoram take place. In 2003, after a Burmese raped a minor girl, locals forcibly evicted several Burmese nationals from Mizoram.

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