Thursday, December 29, 2005

Starving Conditions of weavers of Village Baraharganj in District Kushinagar of UP

Starving Conditions of weavers of Village Baraharganj in District Kushinagar of UP.
I wanted to bring to your kind notice the report sent by Mr. Sanjay Srivastava,media fellow of Right to Food Campaign from Kushinagar that in village Baraharganj under the Block Ramkola in district Kushinagar of UP, India, nearly 700 weavers’ families have been living under acute poverty. These weavers, until some years ago, working on their spinning wheals and handlooms, not only in this state but also in the whole country had earned recognition for themselves. But at present, due to continuous negligence of the government and local administration, they all have lost their livelihoods. In this respect, report in details as follows-
1. Village Barharganj is known as ‘Weavers Village’ in the district. It is said that in this village of eastern UP, almost all of the villagers are weavers. There are total 700 weavers families in the village, out of which most of them have been facing the crisis of livelihood.
2. In this village, every household, Hindu or Muslim had 8 to 10 handlooms and 2 to 4 spinning wheals. It means that approximately 7000 handlooms were on work for 24 hours and approximately 6000 workers were involved in the work of weaving. Apart of these weavers, 1500 other people, who were directly not involved in weaving, used to earn their livelihood from this. Every woman of these weavers family also got employment in this work. It is not

wrong to say that the work of weaving was a part of life of the people of this village.
3. Some villagers, who were good weavers of their own time, like Maslauddin, Samiullah, Gayasuddin, Aminuddin etc say that before independence, people often used to come to the village to take clothes and cotton yarn and hand made carpet, Darri made up of Jakat with flowery embroidery, bed sheet, towels, Kashmiri Shawl, Khadi clothes, Dhoti etc. were sold in the markets of Padrauna, Gorakhpur Khalilabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Banglore,Moradabad and in other various cities. At that time people of this village were happy and prosperous. Cotton yarn prepared by the weavers of this village was sold in Gorakhpur, Rai Berellei, Amethi, Ludhiyana etc.

4. Crafts persons of this village, by making visits in different cities like Moradabad, Ludhiyana, Delhi even in foreign countries used to do the work of designing, sampling, coloring and printing.
5. Weavers of this village say that those committees, which were set up by government under the scheme of special donation, ruined their traditional work of weaving.
6. Actually, innocent weavers of this village were unknown about the formation of these committees. By setting up more than 100 committees, millions of rupees were taken away. But in the name of weavers’ money given to these committees, never reached to the actual weavers. Such a massive scam never came to the floor because government exempted all donated money to give relief to the weavers.
7. It is said that in 1980 when government declared to give subsidies to the weavers committees, then some wrong doers became active in the village and they hijacked the whole scheme. During this time nearly hundred weavers committees were formed in this village. These committees were operated only on papers and in each committee giving the names of bogus 100 members, several lakhs of rupees donated by Government, were taken away by the wrong doers. But actual weavers associated with the handloom profession did not even get any information about this scam.
8. Weavers, who were associated with weaving by tradition of village Barharganj like Mushtaque, Nisar, Meraj Ahamad, Mazid, Jahangir, Alamgir, Mujaffer Alam etc say that in beginning everybody used to do his own work and used to sell the same separately. But later they joined Handloom Corporation, which had no relation with so called weavers committees.
9. In 1987-88 there began the worst time of this profession and until 1990 one by one all handlooms and spinning wheels became closed. In 1988 within one month two times there occurred accidents caused by fire in which every thing burnt to ashes.
10. After that accident, district administration having paid a sum of Rs. 1600/-to each family got rid of their responsibilities. Again neither any official came to know about the conditions of neither weavers nor any body came forward even to express consolation for these poor weavers.
11. At present, situation has been worsened to such level that a good craftsman of his time has been forced to do work as a daily laborer. Some others have been forced to sell clothes by making ferry or working in a shop earning livelihood for their families.
12. Landless, without roof over their head, deprived of government schemes, weavers of this village have come on the verge of starvation and they are facing haunting task of marriage of their adult daughters.
13. Nishar Ahamad S/o Ilahi, Salauddin, Abdul wahid, Samiullah, Rafique, Nizamuddin, Mushtaque, Vikau Samsul hoda etc are going through very pitiable conditions. Villagers say that, it is becoming difficult for them to have diet even for one time in a day.
14. Mushtaque, Asaraf Ali, Hasan etc say, “Government should help us just to start our weaving work, nothing else we demand.” “People related with administration even do not like to hear the name of this village” they say that they did not understand that to whom they should approach to tell about their miseries.
• Red cards under AAY scheme should be given to all families of the weavers of this village immediately.
• Each weaver should be granted fifty thousand rupees so that they could start again their handloom and could earn their livelihood.
• Government should ensure the purchase of their products on fair prices.
• Enquiry should be setup against financial misappropriation in the name of co-operative committees and perpetrators should be brought to the justice.
With kind regards,

1 comment:

Kushi Nagar said...

All the things in this blog is so amazing and nicely written . Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us.Keep posting like this.

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