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Handloom societies languish in neglect

Handloom societies languish in neglect
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handloom weaver cooperative society at Kothawada in Warangal
Highlights

Notwithstanding the fact that handloom sector is the second largest in terms of providing employment in the country with its position next only to agriculture, it’s one of the most ignored industry.

Warangal: Notwithstanding the fact that handloom sector is the second largest in terms of providing employment in the country with its position next only to agriculture, it's one of the most ignored industry. The State Government which currently conducting elections to the primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACS) appears to be apathetic towards conducting polls to the Primary Handloom Weavers' Co-operative Societies (PHWCS) that play a crucial role in the development of handloom industry.

The last time elections to the PHWCS' were held on February 11, 2013. Although term of the PHWCS was completed in 2018, the State Government had not initiated any action to conduct the elections. Since then the government had extended the term of incumbent societies. Under the norms, the extension period of the societies would be six months. Likewise, the term was extended five times.

Although the government had formed a special committee for the constitution of societies last year, it didn't materialise due to elections to the Assembly. The subsequent elections to gram Panchayats, Mandal and Zilla Parishads and others, the issue took a backseat, much to the disappointment of handloom workers. Later, they hoped that elections to their societies would be held along with PACS, but in vain.

The handloom workers say that societies are in a dormant state due to the inactive attitude of the person in charges. "The functioning of societies came to a grinding halt with the person in charges showing no commitment," M Sekharaiah, a handloom worker, said. Some of the societies are on the verge of closure, he added.

In erstwhile Warangal district, there are 67 PHWCS' encompassing handloom, powerloom, tailoring, garment etc. with nearly 6,000 members. Of which Warangal Urban alone has around 2,500 members. Among the six districts split from erstwhile Warangal, the Urban district has highest 33 societies, followed by Warangal Rural and Jayashankar Bhupalpally with 12 apiece and 10 in Jangaon. It's learnt that there are no societies in Mahabubabad and Mulugu districts. Each society will have 11 Directors and of them a president and vice-president would be elected.

It may be noted here that one Director from the PHWCS' would have representation in the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB). On the other hand, the Department of Handlooms and Textiles had already geared up for the conduct of elections to societies. The officials updated the voter list along with the photos of the members in 2018.

Assistant Director of Handlooms and Textiles Raghava Rao said: "We are ready with the voter list. We haven't received any information about the conduct of elections to societies." Meanwhile, it's learnt that the State Government had issued orders extending the term of incumbent members whose term was completed on Monday.

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