The state- committee meeting of the CITU Textile Mill Workers Federation held here on Saturday has called for the abolition of ‘Sumangali Thittam' being implemented in various textile mills in the state.

CITU state president R. Singaravelu told The Hindu that young girls employed by the mill owners under the said scheme, with the promise of giving a certain amount of money at the end of the third year, were found to been exploited by the employers. “This is nothing but bonded labour,” he said. The girls from poor families who struggle even for their subsistence were mostly the victims of the scheme.

The scheme was originally mooted by mill owners more a decade ago to facilitate women from poor families to earn some money in order to get married, he pointed out.

“However, the scheme had become exploitative in nature and against the human rights of young girls,” Mr Singaravelu said.

Another issue that was reiterated at the meeting was the need for mandatory disbursal of minimum wages to textile workers as per laws.

The meeting also passed a resolution seeking immediate revision of eligibility ceiling for textile workers to avail compensation from the government in case the respective textile unit was closed. “Though the Union Textiles Ministry has agreed to give compensation to all workers drawing salary less than Rs. 7,500, instead of the existing scale of Rs 3,500, the necessary notification is yet to be issued,” Mr Singaravelu said.