#Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in India, situated on the bank of holy river Ganges. City is mostly inhabited by hindus and Muslims. Hindus are in majority but Muslim population is also more than 1 million. #Mulim population is highly concentrated in different areas of the city. Most of the Muslim population is engaged in weaving work of famous Baranasi Sarees.
Bajardiha is one of the most densely populated areas in Varanasi city. The total population of Bajardiha is more than 100,000 and most of them are weavers and living in appalling condition. In the concerned weavers’ community of Bajardiha there is only one government Primary school for children’s education, there is no hospital, no road, even there is no pavement in the locality. The sewer system does not work there. Everywhere in the area, stagnant and dirty water of sewer can be seen overflowing. The dump of rubbish is spread around the area which is not sanitary safe for the residents. Due to acute poverty and unhygienic conditions many people of this community, including children, are suffering from TB and Asthma. It is alleged that Varanasi Municipal Corporation is also responsible for the plight situation of the residents of Bajardiha.
Due to breakdown of the economy in the market of Baranasi sarees, weavers' community of #Bajardiha have found difficulties to get job and the people are facing imminent problem of starvation. Thousands of weavers have been migrated to other cities leaving their families behind in search of livelihood; many others are involved in menial jobs to feed their families and children.
In another community called Mirzamurad in Varanasi district named which is hardly 5 kilometers away from Varanasi city. People of neighbouring villages of Mirzamurad have also been engaged in weaving of sarees for last several years. Weavers of this area are also facing the same problem of loss of jobs due to breakdown of market.
Most of the villagers in the area of Mirzamurad from different villages like Kardhana, Benipur, Mehdiganj, Ganeshpur, Islampur, Amini, Admapur, Mominpur, Kallipur, Chateri, Manapur, Thatara, etc are engaged in the weaving work. At the advent of summer season, weavers of this area were expecting that the market of Baranasi Sarees will gain momentum and with the increase in the sale of Baranasi Sarees they would be able to get job and their income will increase. But the weavers' expectations proved to be mistaken and their hopes to get out of the crisis of acute poverty even for a while seem to be broken.
Dozens of weavers have already been closed their looms due to fall of demand of Baranasi Sarees and groping the dark in search of their livelihood. It is reported that in the State of Uttar Pradesh election campaign is going on and the candidates from different political parties contesting the election to get elected for State Legislative Assembly and their leaders are spending millions of rupees to win the election by any means but the sufferings of poor workers are not on the agenda of any political parties.
Majority of the Muslim community in India is living in acute poverty. Muslims in India have deliberately been deprived of education and jobs in government services. Muslim population in India mostly resides in cities and has been involved in different economic activities to earn their livelihood.
It is ironic to know that Muslim population in India has been facing the negligence and indifferent attitude of Indian ruling authorities and local level administrations since independence of India. It has been the root cause of all sorts of backwardness and poverty among Muslim community. They have been subjected to acute exploitation and for this reason despite of hard labour majority of Muslim population has always been deprived of their essential requirements.
Recently Justice Sachar Committee, which was established to improve economic conditions and social welfare of Muslims and other minorities in India, stated that the conditions of Muslims in India are even worse than that of Dalit. Sachar Committee has also recognized the fact that the Muslim community is deprived of all basic amenities and living in horribly poor conditions.
Weavers, organized violence and initiative of empathy:
Few other initiatives:
Research and finding of PVCHR on Bazardia:
- Mention by in-depth study by think-tank ORF:
- Study published by Indiatogether: