The restlessness in Sheela's voice clearly depicts vulnerability of a textile sector worker in Gurgaon's Udyog Vihar area. Sheela is willing to return to her work at the textile factory after enduring an illness. She said, "The work was tedious. We were not allowed to sit during our eight-hour shift. It started affecting my health and I fell ill. After months of rest and thousands of rupees spent, I want to return to work. But there are no jobs. Even my neighbour has been laid off, as there is no demand."
She further added: “The workers who were laid off are today compelled to engage in menial jobs like housekeeping to keep their families running. My husband gets Rs 8,000 as salary and I used to get Rs 7,000. Now, I am totally dependent on My husband's income. I do not know what to do."
The Northern India Textile Mills Association (NITMA) – an association of textile mills located in Northern India – estimates 50 lakh job cuts owing to the economic slowdown in India. Several reports indicate that at least three lakh people have already lost their jobs in the automobile sector following a decline in the demand for cars across India. Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp and TVS Group companies Sundaram-Clayton Limited and Lucas TVS have already halted their production. Meanwhile Mahindra, Suzuki, Toyota and Ashok Leyland have already announced production cuts due to the low demand in the market.
Another depressing sign came after Britannia's Managing Director Varun Berry said that people are thinking twice even before buying a five-rupee biscuit pack.
A glimpse at the advertisements issued by NITMA makes it clear where the crisis lies. The association claimed that the cotton and blends spinning industry is witnessing the biggest crisis in the past nine years. During April-June period of the present fiscal year, export of cotton yarn fell by 34.6% to $696 million as compared to $1,063 million in the same period last year.
A haunting spectre of the sector is visible in Tamil Nadu where TN Open-end Spinning Mills Association expects that 1.2 lakh workers have already lost their jobs in the previous year. M Jayabal, president of Open-end Spinning Mills Association said that 605 spinning mills have shut down across India. Two hundred and twenty-five out of these 605 mills have been closed down in Tamil Nadu. There are many spinning mills which are up for sale but nobody is coming forward for these mills as they cost around Rs 500 crore.
Also read: Auto Industry Crisis Deepens: Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Ashok Leyland Halt Production