Parliamentary Committee assures support to weavers

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Hyderabad, Oct 6 (UNI) Concerned over suicides by 330 handloom and powerloom weavers in Sircilla in the last one year, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour Chairman S Sudhakar Reddy today assured that the Centre, in coordination with the State Government, would immediately initiate necessary steps to improve the living conditions of weavers in the country in general and Sircilla in particular.

Talking to reporters here after visiting Sircilla yesterday and interacting with the widows and families of the weavers who committed suicide, Mr Reddy said he would shortly submit his report to find a solution to their problems on a permanent basis, including making Sircilla a Specialised Textile Zone.

He said during his interaction, he found that each weaver's family owed a debt of Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh, mainly to micro finance institutions and paid a high rate of interest. Abject poverty was responsible for the unabated suicide by weavers, 24 such deaths occurred in the last one month itself, he claimed, adding the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities added to their woes.

Hundreds of widows of weavers were employed as beedi workers.

Expressing concern over lack of continuous work for weavers due to non-lifting of finished products, proper training facilities, non-revision of minimum wages for workers, he lamented that free availability of adulterated liquor was adding to their problems.

They also lacked proper medical facilities as they were not covered by State Insurance Corporation and Employees Provident Fund, he said.

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