The 50 year old polyester khadi industry is on the verge of closure. ETV Bharat has done the work of talking to the power loom-handloom operators and laborers to take their problems and demands to the administration. See this report…
Kasganj: Polyester Khadi of Ganjdundwara, a small town in the district, has remained the choice of people for the last 50 years. A large number of power loom and handloom machines are installed in the city to make this polyester khadi. Thousands of people are getting employment from these factories. But, now this industry is on the verge of closure due to wrong policies and apathy of the government. Thousands of people have come to the rescue of their employment. Today on Saturday, ETV Bharat has done the work of talking to the power loom-handloom operators and laborers to take their problems and demands to the administration.
Ganjdundwara town of Kasganj is famous all over the country for Polyester Khadi. There are many machines of small, big handloom and power loom are installed here. While on one hand the laborers working on handloom are earning only 50 to 100 rupees per day, on the other hand, the laborers working on powerloom are getting only 200 to 300 rupees per day. This is making it very difficult to run the household expenses. It is enough to be jugaad of dal roti. When required, the workers borrow money from power loom and handloom operators. To repay that money is also like chewing iron gram for the laborers.
Shehnaaz, who works hard by running a handloom, makes four to five gamchas a day and feeds her family, says that she earns only 50 to 100 rupees per day. Sometimes if you become unwell, you cannot get even a single penny. But, what do we do, we do not get any other work apart from this. Because of this, you cannot even leave this work. The government and the administration should think about us. Power loom operator Abdul Hakam says that my father’s power loom factory is established. But, we would not like to do this work in future. Because, the power situation is very bad. We do not get enough electricity and for the last many years our electricity bills have not come. Apart from this, the government has stopped the subsidy which was earlier available to our industry. Due to this, there is a loss in this business day by day. Power loom operator Mumtaz Hussain says that the light is not available smoothly. The government has stopped subsidies. We have 4 powerloom machines. But, the electricity department has sent the bill unnecessarily. A year ago the bill was sent for Rs 27000 and now a bill of 29 lakh 90 thousand has been sent. Even if all our machines and houses are sold, we will not be able to pay the bill. Due to these problems people are leaving this work. Many people have sold their power loom machines at the rate of junk. People are changing business. Some are selling vegetables and some are pushing their hands. But, now no one wants to do this business. Many people have sold their power loom machines at the rate of junk. People are changing business. Some are selling vegetables and some are pushing their hands. But, now no one wants to do this business. Many people have sold their power loom machines at the rate of junk. People are changing business. Some are selling vegetables and some are pushing their hands. But, now no one wants to do this business.
Uvaidur Rahman, a laborer working in the power loom, says that he has been working to run a power loom machine for almost 20 years. Day by day the machines of power loom operators increased. But our daily wages did not increase accordingly. Today, 20 years ago, 100 rupees were available, now it is available from two hundred and fifty rupees to 300 rupees. Only empty lentils can run in this. In case of illness, one has to borrow money from the owners and years pass by paying them off.
Rakesh Kumar, a laborer working in the power loom factory, says that he works for 9 hours a day. Then go and earn 200 to 250 rupees. We are not getting even half the money for our hard work. If seen, according to today’s minimum daily wage should be up to Rs 500.
Mubeen Bhai, owner of Ganjdundwara’s oldest and famous power loom operator Standard Brand, says that the biggest problem is electricity. Power loom operators have not been billed for the last 2 years. Due to this, the power loom operators are afraid that they do not know how much unapproved bill will be sent from the electricity department. Recently, electricity bills of lakhs of rupees have come to the operators. Whose only four machines are installed here. Second, earlier the government used to give subsidy to us. But, now the power loom operators have also stopped getting subsidy for the last two years. Now we all fear that the electricity bill will come without subsidy or it will come after deducting the subsidy, this doubt remains. Due to which people are now leaving this business. Earlier the subsidy used to get Rs 65 per machine. Just 2 years ago, a subsidy of Rs 135 per machine was available.
Apart from this, railway transport has stopped completely. Earlier, goods were loaded from Ganjdundwara railway station itself and used to go to other cities and other states. Now due to the closure of railway transport, there is a lot of trouble. The only demand from our government is that the stopped subsidy should be started again and electricity bills should be billed at the earliest. Also, adequate amount of electricity should be given and railway transport should be restarted. Apart from this, I request the Kasganj District Magistrate that this industry of ours should be included as One District, One Product and it should be encouraged.
When Kasganj District Magistrate Harshita Mathur was talked about in this whole matter, she said that meaningful efforts would be made to include this industry in ODOP.
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