Women worrried over inability to repay MFI loans with loss of regular income

The indefinite strike launched by the beedi workers demanding increase of wages in the Telangana region had cast its shadow on the Sircilla textile town.

About eight lakh women beedi workers, including two lakh in Karimnagar district, eke out a living by rolling beedies with minimum wages. Majority of the women have procured loans from the microfinance institutions (MFIs) and were repaying regularly by rolling beedies. But the indefinite strike would definitely affect their regular source of income and they are concerned over the repayment of the loans due to strike and closure of beedi industry.

The beedi workers' JAC had called for indefinite strike demanding a minimum wages of Rs. 120 for rolling 1,000 beedies instead of existing Rs 60 to Rs 70 per 1,000 beedies from November 1 onwards.

They also demanded supply of adequate quantity of raw material such as tendu leaves and tobacco for rolling beedies.

Will affect families

Andhra Pradesh Beedi and Cigar Workers Federation deputy secretary Samalla Mallesham said that the strike by beedi workers would definitely affect the women who supported their families and have its impact in Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Warangal and Medak districts.

Mr. mallesham also flayed the Labour Department for not holding talks with the beedi company managements to increase wages in spite of serving the strike notice.

He said that the government would be blamed if the crisis deepens in Sircilla and weavers resort to suicide due to poverty.

  • Beedi workers' JAC seeks a minimum wage of Rs. 120 for rolling 1,000 beedies
  • Demands supply of adequate quantity of raw material like tendu leaves and tobacco