Karnataka

Weavers demand answers for State govt.’s neglect of handloom sector

As the State legislature is set to meet on Monday, an assembly of rural artisans that met at Heggodu village in Shivamogga on Friday posed a series of questions to people’s representatives over the state of affairs of Gramodyoga, especially on the neglect of the weaving sector in Karnataka.

The assembly, convened by Grama Seva Sangha, attracted participants from several districts to discuss possible course of action for the sector. When the artisans go back to their villages, plans are afoot to pose these questions to their elected representatives.

Comparing the affairs in Karnataka to that of neighbouring States, the artisan assembly pointed out that in Andhra Pradesh, each artisan who lost their job due to COVID-19 received ₹24,000 as compensation while their counterparts in Karnataka received only ₹2,000 ‘in a badly administered manner’. Kerala has come to the rescue of all rural artisans including bringing them under MNREGA thereby doubling their incomes. “Why is Karnataka unable to do this for our artisans,” they asked.

The weavers said that Karnataka has failed to even get cloth for government school children from handloom weavers. “Is it not pitiable that State enterprises such as Priyadarshini Handlooms, Kaveri Emporium, Handloom Development Corporation among others, are on the verge of collapse,” they sought to know.

They pointed out that several schemes for the sector, such as the khadi spinning programme, were gathering dust because of bureaucratic apathy and corruption.

They recalled that Karnataka has a legacy in the sector, citing the establishment of Badanvalu Khadi Institution established by erstwhile Mysore Government in 1917.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 4:50:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/weavers-demand-answers-for-state-govts-neglect-of-handloom-sector/article32645062.ece

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