Cottage industry workers protest ban on use of peacock feathers in Agra

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Agra (Uttar Pradesh), June 30 (ANI): Cottage industry workers in Uttar Pradesh's Agra city raised slogans against the Central Government, thereby protesting the proposed ban on the use of peacock feathers in handicrafts.

The workers, who use peacock feathers extensively for making handicrafts such as fans, submitted a memorandum to the District Magistrate, to the direction of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

"We are submitting the memorandum to President Pratibha Patil through District Magistrate as the medium that honourable President should not append her signature on this Bill, which will be presented to her by the Central Government," said Nandlal Bharti, a patron of the Akhil Bhartiya Moar Pankh Kutir Udhyog Samiti (All India Peacock Feather Cottage Industry Committee).

"We will raise this issue in the Parliament also, and we have given the memorandum to eight to ten Parliamentarians of all party," he added.

Bharti further said if the Bill is presented in the Parliament, it would leave hundreds of thousands of labourers from lower castes and underprivileged groups unemployed.

Meanwhile, Chandrakanta, a worker, said the ban would make situation worse for the labour class.

"We people, wherever we go to sell the fans of peacock feathers, the police trouble us and lock us up. Thousands of people are doing this work of peacock feathers. If this will be banned then from where we get our daily bread and butter," said Chandrakanta.

Earlier, the Wildlife Protection Act allowed the possession and domestic trade of naturally shed peacock feathers.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has, however, proposed a complete ban on the trade due to the number of peacocks being killed for tail feathers. (ANI)

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