Everyone dependent on the handloom sector is worried about the government’s inaction to benefit the handloom workers who are deprived of own house and set up looms in the sheds unable to establish looms in rented houses, Janasena Party president Pawan Kalyan has said. ‘Nethanna Nestham’, a scheme implemented by the State government to a few people was not rational. Every worker dependent on handloom sector must be helped financially and the scheme must be applied to every handloom worker immediately. The handloom workers are caught in the circle of problems since so many years and Janasena party will always in the forefront to extend support by finding necessary solutions to their problems. Sri Pawan Kalyan spoke to handloom workers of all districts across the State at a teleconference on Monday. He discussed the issues being faced by the handloom workers, issues raised out of lockdown and institutional issues in the sector. Political Affairs Committee (PAC) Chairman Sri Nadendla Manohar participated in the teleconference.
Speaking on the occasion, Pawan Kalyan said “there are around 2.8 lakh handloom workers in the State. It is not fair to announce only 81,024 workers for the ‘Nethanna Nestham’ implemented by the State government. People are working in the allied sectors apart from weaving like printing. So many people have to work hard to bring out handloom produce. Everyone dependent on the handloom must be considered in the scheme,” he said.
He said “Janasena Party is responding positively on the issues of handloom workers. I special interacted with handloom workers of Dharmavaram, Yemmiganur, Madanapalle and Srikakulam districts. We also discussed in the Mangalagiri party office on the issue. Only four saris can be produced per week if the whole family lent their hard work. The workers told me that they can’t even earn more than Rs 2000 for the whole family. Corona has dampened their living furthermore when they are already in financial crisis. Many sectors are affected by Corona. But the situation of workers dependent on the handloom is worst. Their hopes have been shattered as they expected a benefit through ‘Nethanna Nestham’ scheme as it was confined to only a few people. The handloom workers asked me when I visited Yemmiganur why the clause that the weaver must have looms in his own house to get them included in the scheme. There is no house like owning a house is a distant dream for them. They are working either in rented sheds or working as a coolie on the looms and it is painful as they are not being benefited. The workers in the sector are facing various health issues after crossing 40 years of age. The health cards given to them earlier are declared as void. The government must concentrate on their health protection. The cloth used in the making of Corona masks must be taken from the handloom department. The handloom representatives complained that the cloth for masks is taken from power looms instead of handlooms. The government must react on the issue,” he said.
Pawan Kalyan said “the policies taken by Kerala government to help handloom sector and implementation of schemes are good. The State government must study the policies of the Kerala government as it had given the responsibility of supplying uniforms to school students to the handloom societies and buying handlooms from handloom workers to sell during the festivals. It also implements several schemes for the welfare and health protection of handloom workers. To do this, people need commitment and thoughts and wish to ensure the growth of the sector. The same commitment is needed for officials and the administrative machinery here. Handloom societies must be strengthened. There shall be leaders in the societies who must be aware of the hard work in the sector. Then only the workers get dividends to their hard work. The workers in the sector will always get support from Janasena. It came to my notice about the issues like reservations and waiver of GST. We will move forward by setting up a committee for resolving the issues in the handloom sector and designing the policies with party general secretary Sri Chillapalli Srinivas and retired officials and experts who have thorough knowledge on the sector,” he said.