KARNATAKA

Handloom weavers to protest

Handloom weavers in Karnataka will stage Satyagraha from January 1 against the Central government’s decision to mechanise the handlooms and to replace them with powerlooms, said Prasanna, a Gandhian and convener of Desi, an organisation striving to promote handlooms.

The All India Federation of Handloom Organisations has called for a nation-wide Satyagraha against this move. The weavers in Karnataka have also expressed their support for the protest, he said at a press conference here on Monday.

As part of the protest, awareness meetings will be held in various parts of Karnataka from January 1 to 14. On January 14, a padayatra will be staged in North Karnataka.

The padayatra will commence from Gajendragad in Gadag district and pass through Koppal, Raichur and Bagalkot districts. A distance of 200 kilometres will be covered.

The representatives of weavers’ cooperative organisations, the functionaries of progressive organisations, ecologists, writers and ryot activists will also take part in the padayatra.

Mr. Prasanna said that, in the third phase of the protest, he would go for an indefinite hunger strike in Heggodu village in Sagar taluk from January 30.

Handloom-made clothes form part of Indian culture. It was possible to run handlooms profitably by providing easy the weavers with easy access to raw materials and helping them to market their produce.

In the past, instead of extending necessary assistance for handloom weavers, the government had tried to lure them to use powerlooms.

The government should stop replacing the handlooms with powerlooms.

The lapses in implementation of welfare schemes for weavers launched by both Central and State governments should be addressed, he said.

Meanwhile, novelist Na. D’Souza who was selected as President of 80th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan, that will be held in Madikeri, launched the satyagraha of the weavers in Sagar on Monday by offering khadi yarn to members of Charaka, a cooperative society of women weavers.

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