FOLK SCHOOL OF THE VICTIMS & THE MARGINALIZED
BAJARDEEHA, VARANASI (U.P.)
Saturday, 18 August, 2007.
PARTICIPANTS: Over 40 people participated, who were living in weaving industry in Bajardeeha. All participants were on the leave from the work to attend the folk school.
Morning Session: 11:30 am- 2 pm
Lunch Break: 2 pm- 2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:30 pm- 4pm
Tea Session: 4pm- 4:15 pm
Evening Session: 4:15pm – 6:30 pm
The purpose of the folk school is to share and uncensored the victims in front of each others and then tries to find out the common solution & strategy.
Mohd. Salim Ansari: I have worked for many years in weaving industry. Today we have difficulties for finding job. Weaver Identity Card is prepared for last two years after long struggle. Till now there is no use of it. We didn't get any government facilities and no any relevant department officer comes to know about worse condition. I started my own business, but this work is new and I don't have experience about it. That's why my economic conditions are not improving. The Pulse Polio Campaigner asks me to make bill of more amount than the cost when I denied they scold that they will see me later. Bajardeeha have no any Government facilities like Water, Road, Electricity, Cleanliness, even the Pavement is not in their Lane. More than two Lakhs people are living in Bajardeeha, but no any Aaganwadi Kendra, Primary school, & health centre are not here. For medical treatment we have to go 4-5 K.M .away Kamachha Jan Seva Hospital. For drinking Water there is no Hand Pump. Government is conscious about Pulse Polio immunization but not for others like–Malaria, T.B, Measles, Hepatitis B, Diarrhea.
On 5 August, D.M of Varanasi had to attend meeting on Pulse Polio with Coordinator & Staff of UNICEF and CMO of Varanasi. As announcer told to the people that due to sickness she is unable to come, but the reality is due to flood on roads and over flow of sewer she denied to attend the program.
More than 75% people are starving and only 25% people are getting food due to
Irregularity in public distribution system. Government should provide loan to start their old work, and community should organize.
Badaurn Nisha: She is former Carporator; she said that in Bajardeeha 75% people are living in starved condition. For delivery, mother has to go Kamaccha Government hospital which is more than 5 Kilometer away. Children of Weavers are dying due to diarrhea but distribution of ORS is not going. Sewer system does not work here everywhere in the area stagnant and dirty water can be seen over flowing. The dump of rag is spread around the area, which is not hygienic and not safe for their resident. Today 18sweepers engaged, they are appointed on daily wages.
Akhtar Ali: I am also engage in weaving it is my family profession. Government invite developed country for business to invest here, but he did not see the starving, naked and economically boneless Weaver of Bajardeeha (Varanasi). Government has to apply Dr. Darin's plan "Varanasi Weavers trust". If Government is not realizing and recognizing our problems then Government have to investigate the reality and then he start his initiatives. Bunker Identity Card is prepared at Rathyatra under Mahatma Gandhi plan with insurance in payment of Rs. 80/-, for identity card they have to pay extra Rs.20 to 50/-.to get rid of daily problem facing they pay more money. A Weaver meeting held in Bajardeeha by Bunkar Seva Kendra employee told that 80 Lakhs rupees allot for Bajardeeha Weavers. In this plan every Weaver will get work of Rs.100/- daily. We visit Bunkar Seva Kendra for getting ideas of work of coloring, graphics, and weaving of sample saris. Bunkar Seva Kendra open from Monday to Friday and timing is 9 am to 7 pm. When we went there for order. Employee told that they will only give order to owner of more than 50 Looms Holder. Scheme for small Weaver will come in the month of August.
At present time they gave sari to Retailer, he pay amount paid after 10 to 15 days. The condition of the Weaver has become worst because of bargaining of middle man. The amount paid by them is less than the cost of the Silk Sari. Government should make project at grass root level, so that Weaver get rid of middle man. Proper market should be established. After 60 years of Independence till now we don't have any cloths policy.
Nizammud-Din: I am working as Weaver last 17 years. Preparation of Bunkar Identity Card starts in 2003, till now I did not get any Identity Card. When I went to Rathyatra office, officer asked me to come in group of 20-25 people, and then you will get your Identity Card. The sari Retailer buys sari in cheap rate and sells it on high rate to the Consumer. Due to this way of selling sari, we are unable to survive life with family. If market is available, then we will get right price of our product & labour.
Zaheer Anwar: I have worked for 24 years. But in present time my income is not as much as the cost involved in sari. At present, I am working as a buildling lobour and manage our family. Like me the number of poor family in Bajardeeha is more than 1000. No Schemes run in a Weaver's Cluster, Colonies on a need based assessment. Officers come and only count their problem. Need of establishing market place, sales &outlet of Handloom. So they can improve their living standard and educate their children.
Abdul Kalam: Government should implement policy for Weavers. Till now I didn't get Weaver Identity Card. Market should be open in Weaver's Cluster, Colonies on a need based assessment.
Firdaush Ahmed: The Schemes should be made simple to follow, which even an illiterate Weaver could understand. The Schemes should not be only under cooperative but Weavers working with master Weavers could also be covered to ensure that the 85% of Weavers outside the cooperative also benefit. Weavers should unit & fight for their own right.
Suleman bhai: He is Sector Warden & discrimination in Below Poverty Line (B.P.L.) Card. Dr. Aktar Ali (Post Warden) prepares Red & White Card. And Yellow Card prepared by me. For Red Card he bride Rs. 500/- per card from rich people. Only four people get B.P.L. Card. In Bajardeeha 80% Muslim & 20% Hindu Community lives together. But the big community has less than 1% of B.P.L. Card and small community has more than 4% of relative Card. The Government oil distribution shop is 3 K. M.far from Bajerdeeha.It is situated in Sankuldhara Area. The Distribution of oil is only 3 hour in a day & five day in a month(between 10-15 day of month).And rest day shop is closed, because the Kotedar do different work for livelihood like he give money on interest, it is illegal work in our country. Antrodaya Ration Shop is situated in Kakarmatta, which is 3 k. m. far from Bajerdeeha.
We are ignored by the Government Policy. Those who pay Rs. 500/- to government employee who get benefit of toilet facility. But toilet scheme has no any cost for it. We pay Tax for Water, Electricity, Sewer and House, but didn't get any Governmental benefit for it. The Sewer Tax is Rs.326/- per year. But no facility of sewer system in Bajerdeeha & how could pay this type of cost &Tax in worse condition.
Silk is import by China at the cost of Rs.800/- per Kilogram. In India the cost of this Silk is about Rs.1400/- per K.G., because of Rs.600 /- anti dumping tax on it.
Sabbir Ali Ansari: In 1970 Khaprailla market is known as Weaver's Colony. Which was
Closed in 1983 by the Middleman (Bargainer).In this market the businessman came from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and some nearest areas and purchased their items. Owner of this place got Rs.2/- per Sari. Weavers got receipts from the buyer, which indicate his Name. Amount of rate, no. of Sari. Amount is payable with in an hour. Gradually market starts falling because the markets transfer to Shishmahal, which is a big market of silk sari. Where Weavers exploited from middleman. They purchased sari in low price and sold it on high rate.
The second reason of falling market is that a lot of Silk Sari spoiled in foreign market and duplicate items came in market. The Silk Yarn is cheap in Bangladesh. So, the cost of Sari is cheaper than here. In India the large consumer of silk sari in Kolkata, So, most businessman purchases sari from Bangladesh.
1. Implementation of Dr. Darin plan "Varanasi Weaver's Trust".
2. To implement Government Welfare Policy for Weaver & in their Colonies.
3. To decrease the price of silk yarn.
4. Preparation of B.P.L. Card & open regularly this type of shop.
5. To provide basic facility like Road, Electricity, Water& sewer system.
6. To provide essential needs like Hospital, School and Aaganwari Kendra.
7. To fix "Handloom Mark" on the product, this is made in Handloom, & save Handloom Weavers from the Powerloom owners.
8. To provide regular market for handloom made product.