30 yrs gone, weavers still paid rupee 1

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Gorakhpur, Jan 4 (UNI) Notwithstanding burning the midnight oil and leaving no stone unturned to give a new height to the handloom industry, over 30,000 weavers associated with the ancestral trade are unable to win bread and butter.

The continuous harrying by the employers and three-decade old wage system are responsible for the weavers' gloomy condition in East Utar Pradesh.

Demanding hike in their wages, the community had staged vociferous protests in the past, leading to the closure of looms in Rasoolpur, Naurangabad, Jahirabad, Old Gorakhpur, Piprapur and Ilahibagh areas of the Gorakhpur city.

The weavers dismal condition turned worse, when over 60 looms in Mau, Tanda and Sant Kabeernagar districts were also shut.

''It is a matter of gross concern that East UP weavers, who took the Handloom industry to zenith, are presently being harassed,'' senior Bunkar Front leader Kamruzzama Ansari told UNI here today.

''Thirty years back, the community was paid one rupee for producing one metre thread. Sadly, the wages had still not been revised,'' he added.

Mr Ansari informed that after working for 12 to 14 hrs, a weaver is hardly paid Rs 50, which is not enough to feed his family.

The government had announced to provide discounts to all mammoth industries on production of all commodities in its New Economic Policy, he said. ''If it gets implemented, big textile industries would take hold of the handloom industry, which would extinct the community in the near future.

UNI ATI SHB AS158

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