All you need to know about Chintakindi Mallesham

About Chintakindi Mallesam

Chintakindi Mallesham hailing from Sharajpet, Aleru is a recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India for the year 2017 under the Science and Engineering category. Chintakindi Mallesham has also received the Amazing Indians Award from the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also got the best innovation award.

Chintakindi Mallesham has received recognition and acclamation for his invention of the Lakshmi Asu machine that reduced the manual effort required by weavers in Pochampally. Lakshmi Asu machine has helped reduce the cycle time from around six hours to about ninety minutes. In the traditional ‘Tie & Dye’ Pochampalli silk saree tradition, a hand-winding process called Asu is required. This method involves moving the hand over a space of one meter up and down around in a semi-circular manner about 9000 times for one saree. It takes about almost 4 to 5 hours to complete each saree.

The Lakshmi Asu machine invented by Mallesham can make a saree in about one-and-a-half hours as opposed to five hours in the manual process. The name of the machine Lakshmi Asu was named after Mallesham’s mother. This machine has Increased productivity by enabling the production of eight sarees a day and allowed variety in style and design.

Chintakindi Mallesam

Early Life of Chintakindi Mallesam

Chintakindi Mallesham was born in a traditional weaver’s family in a small village of handloom weavers in Sharjipet, Aler Mandal, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, Telangana, India. Chintakindi Mallesham was taught how to weave at the early age of 10 years by his parents Laxminaraan and Laxmi. He used to study during the night and work during the day and he was able to complete his studies regularly till class seventh.

Later, he had to take private tuition to fulfill his desire of completing class tenth. As his family is weak financially condition, he finally gave up his studies in 1986. Although he was busy working on the weaving process, Chintakindi Mallesham always had keen on technology since childhood. He liked opening up dysfunctional radios and transistors and saw the arrangement of components inside.

The family tradition of weaving

Chintakindi Mallesham’s family has been pursuing the tradition of weaving Pochampalli sarees for several generations. Pochampalli silk saree is a tradition of double ikat style of weaving with a wide variety of colors and intricate designs of geometrical patterns. Before weaving these patterns on the loom, the hand-winding process of yarn has to be pursued, called Asu.

Traditionally, ladies of the family used to perform this activity as it was done sitting under the shade or at home. This process involved long hours and a lot of physical effort. After the completion of the Asu process, designs are marked on the threads and tied suitably, and then dyed in selected colors. Beautiful designs and patterns of this tradition are then incorporated into weaving the sarees.

Chintakindi Mallesam’s determination to reduce his mother’s pain

Chintakindi Mallesham’s mother, Laxmi, used to do the Asu for the saris woven by his father and him. In a day, she could do the Asu for two saris only, as it involved 18000 to and fro movements of one hand. This caused tremendous pain in Lakshmi’s shoulders and elbow joints. His mother suggested he look for other avenues.

For a less educated Mallesham, it was not easy. On the other hand, doing Asu just for two sarees per day was not enough to fetch sufficient income. Not only his mother, women of his community looked after their family, performed usual household chores, and also worked for 8-9 hours to supply Asu material for two saris per day.

Chintakindi Mallesam Mother

He wondered if there could be an alternative method for Asu that would mean better living conditions as well as less physical drudgery for his mother. This thought led to the invention of the Asu Machine. In 1992, at the young age of 20 years, Chintakindi Mallesham started working on his dream project. Mallesham invented the machine and named it his mother’s name Laxmi, where sarees can be weaved with much ease.

Also visit: All you need to know about Pochampally Saree facts, History and other Details

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