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Weavers in dire straits

MEMBERS OF the Vishal Bharat Sansthan, the Muslim Mahila Front and the Bunkar Adhikar Manch staged a dharna and ?nyay march? in support of their various demands at Shastri Park on Tuesday.
None | By HT Correspondent, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2006 12:22 AM IST

MEMBERS OF the Vishal Bharat Sansthan, the Muslim Mahila Front and the Bunkar Adhikar Manch staged a dharna and ‘nyay march’ in support of their various demands at Shastri Park on Tuesday.

Dr Rajiv Srivastava of Vishal Bharat Sansthan said weavers were reeling under an acute financial crisis in the region and the day was not far when some of them would commit suicide.

He said the government should provide a special economic package for weavers in this region to mitigate their miseries. “If the government fails to immediately extend financial assistance to these weavers, they will be bound to commit suicides like several farmers did in Vidarbha and Andhra Pradesh,” he added.

Imam of Astana Hajrat Bholeshah Deewan and Working Committee member of Bunkar Adhikar Manch Maulana Maqsood Ahmad said that weavers were the most ignored section in the society.

“Owing to poverty, a large number of weavers are forcing their kids into child labour,” a release quoted him.

Muslim Mahila Front chairperson Reshmina Ansari said girls of weavers’ families were being exploited by money-lenders. She said the Muslim Mahila Front would make all efforts to ensure early release of these girls from the clutches of money-lenders. Mohd Farid and Mohd Siddiqui of the Bunkar Adhikar Manch urged the government to provide them with ‘Below Poverty Line’ cards. Members of all the three organisations decided to intensify their agitation on `special package for weavers’, `freedom and rehabilitation campaign’ for the girls who were being forced to serve money lenders.

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