CUDDALORE: Members of the Tamil Nadu Viswakarma Artisans’ Association, led by district president K. Seeralan, observed a daylong fast in front of the Collectorate here on Monday, demanding inclusion of their community in the Most Backward Classes list.
The association said that if the spiralling prices of gold were to be reined in, the online trading system in bullion should be banned. It also condemned the unchecked price rise of metals such as iron, bronze and copper, and, cement and other building materials.
It sought the appointment of the Viswakarma community members as temple trustees and jewellery valuers in banks. The community members should be appointed as presidents of the welfare boards for goldsmiths and artisans.
The association demanded waiver of bank loans of the artisans whose trade had become unviable. The association appealed to the government to give free house site pattas to the community and also provide free medical care.
State vice-president C.D. Appavu alleged that the successive governments meted out step-motherly treatment to the Viswakarmas and even while many families had committed suicide owing to debts, the governments had not taken any steps to mitigate their sufferings. Mr. Appavu requested the government to arrange for bank loans at concessional rate of interest to the Viswarmas for taking up alternative livelihood measures. Others who participated in the fast included V. Thangavelu, district secretary, and G. Palanivel, State youth wing secretary.