Rajaka Vritthidarula Sangham comes out with 13-point charter of demands
The two-day State-level convention of the A.P. Rajaka Vritthidarulu (Washermen), which began here on Saturday, discussed the social-economic problems which their community was facing in the context of the changed life-styles. The meet also came out with a 13-point of charter of demands.
Important among those who took part in the deliberations were the West Bengal M.P, Ramachandra Dom and Cherukupalli Sitharamulu, MLC (AP). To highlight the plight of the washermen community after the advent of the electrical washing machines, the association members symbolically displayed at the venue a washing machine with a ‘noose’ around it.
The convention also called upon the government to supply to those engaged in their traditional occupation, washing plants and modern laundering machines, besides ensuring them free power supply to face the competition from the latest electrical and electronic washing gadgets.
Another serious problem, though Tirupati-specific, which the convention discussed at the meet was the ‘continued callous attitude’ of the successive TTD Boards and the State governments towards implementing a decision taken in 2008 by the Board to award the work of washing and laundering the linen coming out of the TTD cottages, guest houses, choultries, hospitals, offices, etc. only to the washermen societies registered with their State federation, instead of giving them to the well-entrenched contractors.
They regretted that though the leaders of their State association represented the problem to the Chief Minister, Minister for Welfare of the Backward Classes Development and the TTD Chairpersons, there had been no action from anyone so far.
Plea for law
Among their other demands were special legislation on lines of ‘SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act’ to deal firmly with those who indulged in social subjugation and atrocities against the washermen/women, Exclusive Sub-Plan for their welfare on the lines of the SC,ST Sub-plan and allotting Rs.200-cr. fund to the State Washermen’s Federation for disbursement of loans to the registered societies.
Among others who addressed the convention were the President and Hon. President of their state association K. Sathyanarayana and Somaiah, Pylla Asaiah, state general secretary. Kandarapu Murali, district leader.