Introduction

Ichalkaranji is one of the biggest Power loom center in the country and is aptly known as the Manchester of Maharashtra. There are about 1,15,000 Power looms, 22,000 Semi auto looms and 4500 Shuttle less looms in and around the Ichalkaranji which produces 10 to 12 lacs meters gray cloth daily. The beginning of the Power loom industry in the erstwhile Princely State goes back to 1904 when the first powerloom started in the city by an entrepreneur late Vithalrao Datar with the inspiration and support of the then Chief of the Ichalkaranji Jahagirdar, Shrimant Narayanrao Babasaheb Ghorpade. However, till the late forties the growth of Power loom was too slow and the number reached up to 5000 Power loom about 1950. In post independence, the industry grew rapidly and the handloom industry was gradually converted in Power loom. The effort of late Dattajirao Kadam, Ex. M.P., late A. G. alias Abasaheb Kulkarani, veteran Parliamentarian helped the industry to flourish. The establishment of spinning co-operatives, processing units gave fillip to the Power loom industry. Further Kallappanna Awade, Ex. Minister of State for Industries, Maharashtra put in ardent efforts by establishing various spinning mills in co-operative field viz. ICO, Navmaharashtra & Indira Gandhi Mahila. The world class education Institute of DKTE established by him is proving textile technocrats. All these activities shot up the number of Power looms and other subsidiary industries and business such as warping, sizing, banking etc. and Ichalkaranji became the of the biggest Power loom centre in decentralized sector.