Daijiworld Media Network – Kalaburagi (MS)
Kalaburagi, Sep 18: Sangappa Mante (97) is aiming to preserve his handloom industry even though he is about to reach centenary of his life.
Kodekal village of Hunasagi taluk of Yadgir district is trying to save traditional handloom industry for more than two decades. In the past decade, Mante took foot march twice for the same reason. Three years ago he walked 300 km from Kodekal to Kottur of Davanagere.
Mante’s family has continued the handloom industry and have joined hands with founder of Charaka Andolan and renowned stage actor and director Prasanna. Mante was also involved in the Hyderabad freedom fight against the then Nizam, who refused to get aligned with Independent India.
As many as 17 districts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra were part of olden Hyderabad Kingdom. Bidar, Kalaburagi and Raichur were part of the same kingdom. After 1947 the parts continued as the part of Nizam Kingdom.
During the days immediately after the Independence, Sardar Veerupakshappa Gowda of Rajanakolluru village near Kodekal was the eminent leader who fought for the independence of Hyderabad state from the rule of Nizam. Veerupakshappa Gowda was killed.
Sangappa Mante, who was close aide of Gowda adapted Gandhian style of protest against the Nizam and moved around in Kodekal village with Khadi costume holding national flag and made people aware of the current situation of the time. His intention was to create patriotism among the villagers.
Sangappa Mante and his friends were giving shelter to activists of liberation movement and put barriers to prevent Razakaars from entering Kodekal village.
The Nizam government arrested Mante in 1948 and kept him in Kalaburagi central jail for three months. He was released on September 17, 1948 just few months before the release of Hyderabad kingdom.
Mante has been wearing Khadi clothes right from 1948. He is continuing the dying handloom industry. Yadagir district administration confirmed that Mante is the lone survivor of Hyderabad state liberation movement activists.
Mante says, “The government should put in all efforts to preserve traditional industries. Instead of giving free rice, money, it should double the stipend of artistes. We have to be provided raw material at subsidised rates and given good market. The government should take action to make products of Khadi popular. This will preserve traditional industries and also increase employment opportunities and keep youth in good health.”
Sangappa Mante was born on June 25, 1926 in a weavers’ family of Ikkalaki village of Alanda taluk of Kalaburagi district. Later, his family got shifted to Kodekal of Yadagiri district. He began working on handloom at the age of 16. His family had two units of handloom.
Mante increased the number of units of handloom from two to 20 in the time period of 1942-46. He says that there was great demand for Khadi and they used to get cotton abundantly.
Till 1960, the family had 22 units. There are 300 families involved in weaving in Kodekal. After 1960, the number of handloom production units started decreasing. Now his family has only two units. Three sons of Mante are managing them. Now there are only seven to eight families in traditional weaving.
Mante, who is the president of All India Handloom Associations’ Federation of Karnataka unit, was invited to participate in the freedom fighters felicitation programme that was held at Rastrapati Bhavan on August 9, 2015.
Mante says that working on handloom machine is better than any yoga or exercise. Hands, legs, eyes and mind should work in coordination in handloom weaving which is a very big exercise.
Mante was presented the national handloom award on December 21, 2014 and Nekara Ratna award on August 7, 2020.
Deputy commissioner of Yadagir, Susheela visited house of Mante and felicitated him on behalf of district administration, a few weeks ago. He was also invited to receive award in the Kalyana Karnataka Amrit Mahotsav committee for his contribution to the freedom movement.