Protect lives, livelihoods of handloom weavers: NFHH
NFHH met Secretary of Ministry of Textiles Upendra Prasad Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday and explained the pathetic state of the weavers and requested immediate remedial measures to save the lives and livelihoods of handloom weavers.
Chirala: The representatives of National Federation of Handlooms and Handicrafts (NFHH) met Secretary of Ministry of Textiles Upendra Prasad Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday and explained the pathetic state of the weavers and requested immediate remedial measures to save the lives and livelihoods of handloom weavers.
In the representation submitted to the Secretary of Ministry of Textiles, NFHH members Macherla Mohan Rao, Gunjan Jain and others explained that the widespread displacement and loss of work due to Covid pandemic and lockdown in the country has forced weaver community into a state of starvation deaths and suicides. They informed the secretary with details of the victims including the suicide of a handloom weavers' family from Pedana of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, and a power loom workers' family from Katnapalli in Karimnagar district in Telangana.
The NFHH members explained that there are about 31.45 lakh households from the BC, SC and ST, and minority communities in the country are engaged in the weaving and related activities, and a majority of them are earning around Rs 5000 per month, as per the Fourth All India Handloom Census, 2019-20. As the master weavers have product stocks piled up since the pandemic and lockdown, these handloom workers are not receiving work from them or the handloom societies.
Mohan Rao and others also explained that due to the artificial scarcity and the abnormal increase in prices of yarn including the zari by 20 to 25 per cent, silk by 56 to 68 per cent, cotton by 70 per cent from March 2020 to January 2022, the weavers are left in a state of despair. The weavers' representatives advised the government to provide subsidized yarn materials and all other measures under a special package to the handloom sector. They also asked the Union government to instruct the States to bring all weavers under the cooperative societies of handlooms and protect their rights as per the related articles in the constitution, by supporting the handloom sector under the Production Linked Incentive scheme recently approved.