Sumangali scheme in spinning mills abolished only on paper

September 18, 2016 12:00 am | Updated November 01, 2016 07:14 pm IST - ERODE:

Spinning mills in the Western belt of Tamil Nadu have stopped using the term ‘Sumangali Thittam’ for employing teenaged girls as main component of workforce, but trappings of the exploitative scheme still remains, according to a Sathyamangalam-based NGO working for betterment of the future of the young workers.


While the term that became synonymous with over-exploitation of teenaged working girls turned out to be shameful for the recruiters, since the system of employment came to be known as bonded labour, there has been no noticeable change in working conditions, according to R. Karuppusamy, Director of Rights Education and Development, that conducted an orientation for mills earlier this week on the working and living conditions of young girls accounting for majority workforce.

As per the norms, the young workers must be engaged for not more than four hours every day, but, there are instances of the girls slogging at the workplace for much higher durations in unhealthy conditions.

Also, the girls are not paid under the latest provisions of Minimum Wages Act, Mr. Karuppusamy pointed out.

Inputs obtained under Right to Information Act indicate that the young girls account for the majority of the workforce in the spinning mills, and most of them belong to Dalit and downtrodden families that send them on their own volition for such rigorous work due to poverty, he said.

According to the NGOs, the young girls who work in the factories must also be considered children until they cross 18 years, and be provided with avenues for academic progress.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.