Centre extends financial package under the Textiles Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme

Twenty years after they lost their jobs in Binny Mills, the Union government’s financial package under its Textile Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme (TWRFS) has come knocking at the doors of some of the workers. In some cases, the workers have themselves died leaving behind the money to their kin.

The package — ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 per person — will reach out to 854 of the 1,012 workers identified by the unions as those who lost their jobs due to a “partial closure” of the iconic textile mills, Binny and Co, in 1994.

The mills was eventually shut down completely and sold out in the year 2001, and the sprawling campus is now a popular shooting spot for films, among other things.

On Saturday, at a function in the city and in the presence of members of the workers’ unions, Union Minister for Textiles K.S. Rao handed over a cheque to the tune of Rs. 3.28 crore towards the first settlement that reaches out the rehabilitation package to nearly 85 per cent of the workers.

The remaining money would be handed over within a month, the Minister has guaranteed.

“This should provide some relief to the family members of the workers. It has been a long struggle,” said N. Sreeramulu, leader of the Binny Mill Workers’ Union.

The amount disbursed to the workers was the compensation to the tune of salary for a period of 18 months, according to the officials at the regional office of the Textile Commissioner in Coimbatore, who are overseeing the rehabilitation package.

Concerted efforts

Concerted efforts to bring relief to the workers who lost their jobs during the 1994 partial closure of the Binny Mills started around the year 2008 when the Central government offered a similar rehabilitation package to workers of Bangalore Mills, R. Adikesavulu, general secretary of Madras Labourer Union said.

Cheque given

The consolidated cheque for the rehabilitation package was handed over to officials of Central Bank of India, where all the workers have certified accounts.

“The list of 1,012 workers even includes 209 deceased members. Most of them and their families have lived in abject poverty. Now that the money has been disbursed, we need to find out how many of their bank accounts have gone defunct because not all of them had the means to maintain a minimum balance,” Mr. Sreeramulu said.

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