Handloom weavers take the satyagraha route



The Union Textile Ministry’s move to redefine the handloom sector has become a cause of concern for handloom weavers. The All-India Federation of Handloom Organisations (AIFHO) has launched a nationwide satyagraha.

Handloom weavers in the State are now holding awareness meetings as part of their agitation.

Prasanna, convener of Desi, an organisation striving to promote handlooms, told The Hindu that the weavers would take out a padayatra in the northern districts in support of their demands from January 14. It would begin at Gajendragad of Gadag district and pass through Koppal, Raichur, and Bagalkot districts, covering 200 km. Representatives of weavers’ cooperative organisations, functionaries of progressive organisations, ecologists, writers and farmer activists would take part in the programme.

“In the third phase of the agitation, I would go on an indefinite fast at Heggodu village in Sagar taluk of Shimoga district from January 30, if the demands are not met by then,” Mr. Prasanna said.

Their other demands are implementation of Handloom Reservation Act, a public statement against mechanising handlooms, desisting from introduction of powerlooms in handloom clusters, providing only non-reserved items to powerloom weavers in the handloom clusters with a buy-back arrangement, and improvement of the delivery system for all handloom schemes.

New legislation was not an answer to protect the handloom industry, what was needed was implementing the law, including reservation of articles for handlooms, in place, he said.

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