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B Y ARTIKA ASHDHIR
M.A GLOBALIZATION AND LABOUR ROLL NO: 2010GL004 SUBJECT: WORLD ONE SEMINAR TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
The weavers of India are its biggest assets. It¶s a marvel that an ancient art such as weaving still exist in our country, but the carriers of this tradition are the least respected lot in this nation. Weaving is skill that is done with utter brilliance and is passed on from generation to generation. Throughout history there are evidences that show that weavers have always been a victim of a staunch hierarchical system. Being at the bottom of the system they fall prey to the extreme forms of exploitation. Since the time of Kalidasa, weavers were the poorest of the lot, the British invasion and their policies of free trade further pushed them to the lowest strata of the society (economically). With the independence of India it was expected that the art of weaving would a get a refurbishment and that there would be an elevation in the status of weavers. However our government was not able to meet these expectations. The purpose of this paper is to familiarise with the current conditions of the weavers and to proposethe importance of social protection and social security to the custodians of this ageless art. Therefore during the course of the paper we will discuss;the historical background of weaving industry, the types of weavers, their industrial organization, the wages and working conditions of the weavers, the government initiatives towards this industry, the impact of globalization on the weavers and finally in conclusion the evidence of a presence of initiatives by the state to protect the weaving class.
1.INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................4 2.HISTORICAL BACKGROUND«««««««««««««««««««««..5
2.1. THE ORIGIN OF THE WEAVING ART IN INDIA««««««««««««..5 2.2. TYPES OF WEAVING TRADITIONS IN INDIA IN INDIA«««««««««5 2.3. IMPACT OF THE ISLAMIC TRADITIONS ON THE WEAVING CULTURES AND TRADITIONS««««««««««««««««««««««««««...6 2.4. GUJARAT BECAME THE FOCAL POINT OF THE WEAVING IN THE PAST«««««««««««««««««««««««««««.6 2.5. IMPACT OF BRITISH INVASION««««««««««««««««««...6 2.6. REASONS FOR THE LONG TERM SURVIVAL OF THE INDUSTRY««««6 3.TYPES OF WEAVERS «««««««««««««««««««««««««9 3.1. INTRODUCTION«««««««««««««««««««««««.««9 3.2. SELF-EMPLOYED WEAVER««««««««««««««««««.««9 3.3. CONTRACT WEAVERS««««««««««««««««««««.««9 3.4. LOOMLESS WEAVERS««««««««««««««««««««««10 3.5. COOPERATIVE SOCIETY MEMBERS««««««««««««««.«..10 4. WEAVING STYLES IN INDIA««««««««««««««««««««.«11 5. INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION IN THE HANDLOOM INDUSTRY.................13 6. WAGES AND WORKING CONDITIONS««««««««««««««««.15
7. GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES««««««««««««««««««««.18 7.1 GOVERNMENT POLICIES««««««««««««««««««««..18 7.1.1 OBJECTIVE BEHIND THE POLICIES«««««««««««««..18 7.1.2 SCHEMES«««««««««««««««««««««««««.18 7.2 CRITICISMS OF THE POLICES«««««««««««««««««««20 8. IMPACT OF GLOBALISATION ON THE INDUSTRY«««««««««..«21 8.1 INTRODUCTION««««««««««««««««««««««««.....21 8.2 IMPACT ON THE SILK WEAVING INDUSTRY«««««««««««.....21 8.3 MIGRATION DUE TO LIBERALIZATION««««««««««««««...23 8.4 FLAWS IN THE GOVERNMENT POLICIES«««««««««««««....23 9. CONCLUSION«««««««««««««««««««««««««««...24 9.1 ILO PROPOSAL««««««««««««««««««««««..«««.24 9.2 INTITIATIVES BY THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT««««««««..««...24 9.2.1 INTRODUCTION««««««««««««««««««««..««25 9.2.2 TARGET POPULATION««««««««««««««««««..«25 9.2.3 INSURANCE PLAN««««««««««««««««««««.....25 9.2.4 PLAN DISTRIBUTION««««««««««««««««««««26 9.2.5 SERVICE DELIVERY««««««««««««««««««««...26 9.2.6 COVERAGE««««««««««««««««««««««««...27 9.2.7 CONTRIBUTIONS«««««««««««««««««««««....27 9.2.8 CHALLENGES««««««««««««««««««««««......27
Handloom weaving in India is still largely a household enterprise, as well as being predominantly a rural activity (with the exception of Maharashtra). It has conventionally been one of the most promising sectors of huge employment. In fact, after agriculture, this industry is largest provider of work force. The abundance in the raw materials, the continuous supply of cheap work force is the contributing factors behind the success of the weaving industry of India. However, the liberalization of the international trade coupled with change in the reforms of domestic economy, have made affected the weaving industry of India negatively. Despite the fact that the Indian weaving industry employs a large section of the Indian population, it is considered as a failing industry. Though this ancient industry of India is experiencing a bad phase, a large market for weaving products still exist both in the international and domestic market. The manufacturing of the weaving products makes a remarkable contribution to the national GDP and even in the exports revenue. Estimates over the years have found out that the weaving industry are supporting some 32 other sectors that include marketing, financial, transportation, hotels and even maintenance services. The weaving industry in India has self-depending mechanism that includes training the young weavers, abundance of resources and capacities, thereby, helping the industry not to be dependent on the Government. In addition, weaving is eco-friendly, and is aimed at the cutting back on the environmental impact. Atpresent the share of the handloom industry stands at 18.75% of the total cloth production. The major contribution ofhandloom sector is however in terms of providing employment to 124 lakhs people andthus stands next to agriculture. Out of this, 60% are women, 12% SC and 20% ST(Ministry of Textiles: 2001). There are 38.91 lakhs handlooms in India. Though its sharein total textile exports is 10% (EXIM: 2001), its labour intensive character, decentralizednature and optimum utilization of scarce capital resources give it a unique position in theIndian economy. It weaves a range of fibres like cotton, silk, tussar, jute, wool andsynthetic blends. The share of textile exports in the total exports of India has shown an increasing trend and now stands at 35.5%. Thus, textiles have grown over decades as the single largest foreign exchange earner. This is of great significance taking into account the fact that textile industry has low import intensity at 23%.
2.1The origin of the art of weaving in India Fragments of woven cotton and bone needles have been discovered at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, the ancient seats of the Indus Valley Civilization. Even the Rig-Veda and the epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana dwell upon the craft of weaving at length. These weavers of the past were true masters of their craft. Such was their capability that legend even refers to the fabulous semi-transparent saree (a great technical feat) worn by Amrapali, the famous courtesan. Indian cottons and silks were exported in huge quantities, causing concern among the Romans because their wives could not have enough of these beautiful fabrics! Fragments of cotton fabric were also found in the Egyptian tombs at Fostat, China too was another big importer of Indian fabrics in ancient times. Moving ahead, silks were exported to Indonesia in the 13th century, India also exported a lot of cotton and chintz to Europe and the Far East before the advent of the British East India Company.
2.2 Types of weaving traditions in India :a) The Rural Representing the familiar, unchanging images of rural life. These are abundantly full of joy and life, with figures of plants, animals and humans. b) The Classical Revolving around royalty and court life. Here the forms and symbols varied according to the patronage of the ruler. Symbols and myths were rendered graphically, with elegance and style. c) The Tribal These were usually bold geometric patterns and weaves in strong primary colours usually woven on simple bamboo looms.
2.3 Impact of the Islamic invasion on the weaving cultures and traditions . Where the Hindu weaving had an abundance of life and spontaneity, with imaginary animals, plants and human figures, the Islamic tradition was more withdrawn and discreet. Representation of living creatures was stylized to the point of abstraction since Islam did not believe in graphic representation of living creatures.
2.4Gujarat became the focal point of weaving in the past. However the great fire which took place in 1300 A.D. caused most of the weavers to flee and settle around the country in places like Delhi, Ajmer, Agra, Banaras, and Madras. The silk weavers of Murshidabad and the Saurashtros of South India both trace their lineage to Gujarat. The courts of the Muslim kings were resplendent in expensive garments embellished with heavy 'zari' work and intense 'meenakari. Persian motifs of flowers and fruits like the pomegranate, the Iris tulip had become part of the Indian design scene. The vibrant reds, yellows and oranges of the Hindu tradition combined with the dusky pinks, emerald greens and turquoise blues of Persia to form a new colour vocabulary. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was said to be so fond of the µJamdani¶, which one had to seek royal permission before daring to wear the precious fabric. It soon came to be called 'Aurangzebi' on account of the Emperor's overwhelming passion for the fabric.
2.5 Impact of British invasion
With the coming of the British, the fabrics being woven lost much of their intricacy and beauty.
2.6 Reasons for long-term survival of the industry Thus the art of weaving started some 10,000 years back. It was on an individual basis. That is, the weaver worked from his home and the family members assisted. This form of working still exists in India. After the invention of spinning and mechanised weaving looms, this activity became production oriented and required to be funded as machine were expansive and beyond the reach of individual community weaver. Gradually, spinning mills and weaving mills came to existence and after industrial revolution in 19th century; the simple
crossing of threads became a completely industrial activity. Weaving and spinning mills came in to existence, employing thousands of workers. The long-term survival of handloom can be explained by relative advantages of power-loom and handloom. In the mid-nineteenth century, two types of cloth faced keen competition from foreign or Indian mill-made cloth: µcoarse-medium¶ cotton cloth, and printed and bleached cotton cloth. By contrast, cloths that used very coarse or very fine cotton yarn, or complex designs woven on the loom, or non-cotton yarn, tended to use the handloom. These were either so labour-intensive that the mills did not enter them by choice, or used non-cotton fibres that the mills did not want to handle. Statistically speaking, we are vastly better off in the twentieth century. For the first time, we can handle quantitative issues ± scale, productivity, income, degree of inequality, etc. ± with some measure of confidence. Handlooms accounted for about 25 per cent of the cotton cloth produced annually in the first half of the 20th century. Market-share of handloom cotton cloth was roughly stable between the 1890s and the 1930s. The total production of cotton cloth expanded by about 30 per cent between 1900 and 1939. Throughout this period, total cloth consumption was growing, and Indian cloth was steadily substituting imported cloth. In cloths made of silk and other fibres, handlooms dominated. These other fibres were generally more expensive than the average quality of cotton. Taking all fibres together except wool, in the 1930s handlooms¶ market-share in total cloth consumption in value may have been about 50. Rising production and constant loom age suggest that the productivity and the capacity of the looms increased. This can be independently confirmed from the information we have on technology.
Table 1. Scale of the Indian Textile Industry, 1920, 1940 1920 Handloom Industry Workers Looms (Cotton looms) Idle looms Production (million yards of cotton cloth) % of domestic cotton cloth consumption 2,407,3001 2,025,0002 (..) (..) 931 25 1940 (..) 2,193,262 (1,417,200) 265,464 1703 28
Mill Industry 332,200 625,0003 Workers 117,558 199,0003 Looms 1,529 3,738 Production (million yards of cotton cloth) 44 62 % of total domestic cotton cloth consumption Notes: 1. Census estimate of µactual workers¶. 2. There was a handloom census in 1921, which did not cover several major states and provinces. The 1940 estimate is more comprehensive. I multiply the 1940 loom age with the 1920:1940 ratios of looms in regions covered in both years, to derive an estimate for 1920. 3. Refers to 1943. Source: India, Fact-Finding Committee (Handlooms and Mills), (Delhi, 1942), Ch. II.
In short, in the early twentieth century, we have a scenario where the weaving industry was expanding in output and labour productivity. The growth, however, was by no means a smooth one. Rather it was violently disrupted by the First Word War, which created an acute scarcity of yarn and imposed an inflation tax, and the Great Depression, which created a p roblem of demand that was handled ultimately by brutal adjustments in real wages all round. Nevertheless, there was growth. What accounts for this growth? Who gained from this growth? The factors sustaining this growth were, on the demand side, an expansion in average cloth consumption partly as a result of fall in cloth prices (the Morris effect), partly that of agricultural growth in some areas, and partly tariff protection to the textile industry from the mid-1920s. It is suggested that growing nationalist sentiments in the interwar period, the ideology of µSwadeshi¶, helped the handloom weaver. But, in fact, the Swadeshi ideology never singled out the weaver for particular preference, and its campaign against foreign yarn and campaign for Indian mill cloth hurt the weaver who consumed a lot of foreign yarn and competed with the mills. Further, its impact was variable over space; in Bengal where Swadeshi sentiment was the most intense, handloom weaving actually declined in this period. On the supply side, there was increasing diffusion of labour-saving tools adaptable to smallscale workshop and household production, and changing industrial organization from households to wage-labour-using workshops. The fact of a survival, even revival, in weaving in the late nineteenth or the early twentieth century has recently led to a modification in the µde-industrialization¶ perspective.The experience of weaving seems to suggest the gradual unfolding of a particular form of low -key industrialization intensive in skilled artisanal labour, consistent with the long-term resource conditions and clothing preferences in the region. Resources and the culture of consumption can shape industrialization trajectories ± that seems to be the general lesson from the history of weaving.
3. Types of weavers
3.1Introduction The silk saree industry structure is a complex web of many actors like weavers, masterweavers, traders, raw material suppliers (who are big businessmen), and people involved in dyeing silk, designing, card making (which are used in the handloom to guide the silk according to the design), and zaridozi (embroidery). Though changes have taken place in the structure of the industry and in the relationship between various actors involved in handloom production in the cluster, it continues to be primarily feudal in character. There are two types of loom owners. One is an independent producer who buys the raw material and sells finished sarees. The other type is one who is attached to a particular trader who provides design and raw material to loom owner. The payment in the case of the former is on the basis of price negotiation while in the case of latter it is a fixed conversion charge (piece rate). Many traders are also owners but they contract out their looms to weavers.The weavers, the main workers, who do the actual job of weaving a sari, can be separated into distinct categories. 3.2Self-employed Weavers: Weavers under this category have their own loom and buy their own raw material on credit from the raw material supplier. They weave the actual saree and then sell it to the trader or exporter directly or through middleman. The trader may sometime, help them in getting the raw material on credit. These weavers can be an individual weaver or a master-weaver. Selfemployed weaver, who design and weave and even get other weavers to weave on his handloom or on the weaver's own hand loom, the Master weavers supply material, design, colours, and the ideas. These weavers engage wage earners and looks after the complete operation of the weaving process and the marketing of the fabric. The weaver earns meagre wages for the preparation of sarees, which may take him 5-6 days to 12- 15 days. Therefore, this weaver has no option but to work hard to weave a saree in a shorter duration to earn more. This renders weaving an activity in which weavers are exploited. While they work harder, they in fact contribute to the greater profit of the Master weavers. Loom ownersor Master Weavers have access to the market and the demand trends. The numbers of these traders are only around three hundred. Hindus dominate the trading community while weavers are mostly Muslims. The weaver is only concerned with the production and is cut off from the market. They depend upon the traders for design and sale of their produce. In the city, the looms owners are mostly Muslims of weaving community living in different pockets/mohallas. The number of such weavers and master-weavers are on the decline over the last decade. 3.3Contract Weavers: Individual weavers, who get raw material from the trader or master-weaver and weave a saree for wages,wages are determined on the basis of the intricacy of the design and bargaining capacity of the weaver, which has weakened considerably during the last decade as the industry is facing a slump. If the weaver is working under a master-weaver, his wages are even lower as themaster-weaver takes a cut. Weavers who work under a master-weaver earn only 80% of the wages they would have received if they were working directly under a trader.
3.4 Loom less Weavers: Weavers, who do not have their own looms, are employed as a wage earner on a handloom by the trader or master-weaver, where they are supplied the raw material and weave the saree Another kind of loom lessweaver is the one, who has been given a loom by the trader installed at their home and they take raw material from the employer and weave a saree. The loom continues to be owned by the trader and weavers is paid only wage. Loom less weavers are typically found in rural areas.
3.5Cooperative Society Members: Weavers, who are members of cooperative societies, But according to weavers, a majority of the cooperatives are controlled and 'owned' by the traders themselves. Most of the traders are members of the cooperatives and also have their own business in the form of a registered firm. The poor weavers are rarely members of these societies and even if they are members they get no benefit except for getting job-work weaving orders placed by the traders. However, to ameliorate the conditions of the weavers, the government intervened and established co-operatives. The objective was to end the isolation of weavers from the market and vertically integrate them with the source of supply of raw material on the one hand and with the actual market on the other.
4. WEAVING STYLES IN INDIA
Brocade: - The art of weaving is quite popular in Indi, since the old times. It has been creating wonders and getting huge acclaim from world over for their distinctive style. The basic cloth required for this form is silk as it is quite durable and stylish. Some of the weavers also make use of a mix of silk and cotton. With a variety of silk and cotton fabric available in India, one can get to see uniqueness in every piece. It is usually done in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh Baluchari: - The art of Baluchari weaving came from Baluchar, a place near Murshidabad. Its best feature is that of using human brocade figures for decorating pallu and borders. What makes this weaving style more elegant is the use of fine quality silk and silver zari work. Generally, in this pattern, the ground colors are beige, red, blue and pink with contrast colored borders. The entire masterpiece of Baluchari work enables the wearer to adorn a touch of grace and stands out of crown for being exclusive. Jamawar: - The art of Jamawar was brought to Kashmir by Persians, centuries ago. But, it grew and reached its zenith in the Mughal period. From that time to now, the art of Jamawar reflects a perfect blend of beauty, warmth and luxury. What made this style exclusive is the design based on flora and fauna. In fact, the most demanding patterns have been jaldar and buti work. Jamawar style of weaving is quite famous for a mix of creativity blended with traditionalism. Its beauty lies in the stylishness of intricate designs. Paithinai: - Belonging to the state of Maharashtra, Paithani art is known for fine weaving of embroidery and complex bleaching/ dyeing of the material. It is, in fact, a merger of ethnicity and classicism
Ikkat: - Ikat is quite well-known for classy thread work, along with tie and dye process. Famous in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, this weaving style is known by various names in different towns. It is the intricacy and beauty of the Ikat that has made it popular worldwide and a favorite among many people. Chanderi: - Chanderi is a town near to Gwalior, which is famous for hand woven silk sarees. This style of weaving is considered to be extremely fine with intricately woven borders. Saris designed from this art were exclusively known for their gossamer shimmer and delicacy. Maheshwari: -The Maheshwari saree is quite famous for its sheer beauty and gossamer thin blend of silk and cotton yarn. This weaving art is carried out either on a pure cotton fabric, or a mix of silk and cotton. It is characterized by geometrical motifs, such as small checks or stripes made on the cloth with
dark colored border. It belongs to Maheshwar a small town in Madhya Pradesh
Jamdani: - The art of weaving Jamdani started years and years ago that finds mention in Kautilya¶s Arthashastra. . Jamdani is a patterned piece of muslin cloth used for embroidery during weaving process. It, usually, contains geometrical and floral patterns dyed in a light shade. After this, the designs are drawn on it using colors like maroon, white, green, black, silver and golden color.
Kota: - The style of Kota Doria started 200 years ago, when some weavers from Kaithun (near Kota, Rajasthan) used to weave coarse plain fabric. With unique patterns and motifs, this design form has enabled people to showcase culture in the best possible form. The uniqueness of this art lies in its stylish weaving with colorful threads and intricate motifs. Pochampalli: - Pochampalli is a place in Andhra Pradesh, which is world famous as Silk City. Almost 100 villages in this region are involved in weaving Pochampalli saris. What makes them exclusive is a perfect mix of history, tradition, culture and modernity. With the use of traditional looms, Pochampalli sarees are woven intrinsically beautiful.
5. Industrial organization in the handloom industry The organization of the industry encompasses a set of functions which guide the production system and relations. These are: i) supply and distribution of yarn and other inputs; ii) collection and marketing of finished products; iii) arrangement of pre-weaving and postweaving ancillary facilities to the weavers; iv) promoting improvements, innovations in the prevailing technology, designs and skill (v) provision of finance. The smooth functioning of the production system depends largely on the availability of raw materials and other inputs at reasonable rates and sale of finished products. This requires the existence of a copious and well organized raw material source as well as an efficient distribution and marketing infrastructure which can curb the present monopoly of mahajans. Unfortunately, the failure of the government to control the supply, distribution and marketing operations and to arrange ancillary facilities to the weavers that encouraged the infiltration of mahajans in to the system, who ultimately enjoy the final profit margin. Notwithstanding the various efforts initiated by the government for instituting an efficient infrastructure able se to develop organizational control over the handloom weaving industryin the state, it is the mahajans who are in the forefront with a parallel but much more efficient organization system for production, distribution and marketing and also for innovations in designs, patterns and techniques of weaving. Pattern of Ownership On the basis of the differencein the types of ownership we may distinguish four major classes of weavers a) mahajans, b) master-weaver (c) owner independent weaver and d) wage worker. Both mahajans and master- weavers enjoy almost an equally dominating status in the weaving community, but the characteristic difference between the two groups lies in the fact thatthe master-weavers usually work themselves on one of their looms and engage wage-workers onthe other looms. Mahajans do not normally work on looms; they are the suppliers of yarn to their wage-workersas well as selling agents for their products on the basis of a wage system. Thus, in spite of their nonactive participation in production function, the mahajans are in a position to assert an indirect but oligopolistic control over the entire production and market mechanism in the handloom sector and enjoy the lion's share of the profit. Different types of middlemen operating in the handloom industry in India have been described: "There is first of all, the sow car-weaver (often called master-weaver) who employs under him weavers mostly of his own caste. Secondly there are the merchants, either of yarn or cloth or both, who are keenly interested in the supply of cloth of qualities required or in adequate quantities thirdly, there are the contractors who bring the weavers together into small factories or workshops. The first two types of employers leave the weavers to work in their own looms and other appliances; rather, they prefer this becausethey could get work done without incurring the cost of looms and working sheds.The master-weaver was not an employer of labour, and he paid no regular wage to the apprentices who learned weaving under him. But in modern times, owing to the growing prospects of trade, some of the wellto-do weavers have set up as merchants, and they employ their fellow caste-men under them for a wage or on other forms of contract''.10 The owner-dependent weaver has his own loom and raw material and thus works independently But usually his economic status is far from satisfactory. Theoretically the economic position of the independent weaver is excellent. He is force to produce what he welts and work when it is convenient for him. He works in the midst and with the assistance of his family. But all this does not help him in business. He has only a limited market and when there is no demand for his cloth, he is not able to hold back his produce until price improves. He often sells his cloth in the bazar on direct sale basis because he cannot wait, and therefore when he is pressed for money he would even sell his cloth at anything above the cost of yarn. Thus ordinarily the earnings of the independent
weaver are low and his economic condition is unsatisfactory. The wage-workeris essentially dependent on mahajans or master-weavers for either raw material or for both loom and raw material to earn his subsistence. Among the rage earners a few work with the primary weavers' societies, but often thesesocieties fail to provide the member with yearlong employment. While a wage earner is working for the master- weaver on master-weaver's loom, the wage is for individual labour, whereas the wage-worker employed by the mahajan working with his own loom and appliances gets the assistance from his family members. In accordance with the two types of wage systems, there are two types of wage-workers, namely, "contract worker" and "out-worker," can be recognized; the contract worker works on a contract basis for a merchant or sow car-weaver, while the out-worker weaves with the raw materials supplied by the middle-man for a fixed piece wage, part of which is sometimes given as an advance. The structure of the industry and the relationship between various actors involved in handloom production in the cluster, it continues to be primarily feudal in character. There are two types of loom owners. One is an independent producer who buys the raw material and sells finished material. The other type is one who is attached to a particular trader who provides design and raw material to loom owner. The payment in the case of the former is on the basis of price negotiation while in the case of latter it is a fixed conversion charge (piece rate). Many traders are also owners but they contract out their looms to weavers.
6. Wages and working conditions Weaving activity can be 1st bifurcated into (a) organized sector and (b) unorganized sector. In the organized sector, weavers get employment with assured monthly income, health benefits for the weaver and their families, post-retirement benefits in for and of pensions or gratuity. The unorganized sector that constitutes a large proportion of the total employment in the industry can be divided into power looms and handlooms. In power looms the weavers get employment on regular monthly basis but on contractual basis or daily wage basis. Normally, weavers are not employed directly by the owners of the weaving sheds; they are employed by the contractor, who pays them which means that they are not on the roll and no detailed salary records etc. Apart from salary no other benefits like in the organized sector are provided to them. In the hand loom sector hand loom weavers get employed either by getting hired by small weaving clusters that pay them on daily basis or operating from his home individually, and earns his living on job to job basis. Weavers in thehandloom sector work under most appalling condition, where neither negotiations nor contract exists. It pushes weavers' deeply exploitative conditions, where loom ownersviolate all labour legislations and pinning down the weavers in never-ending cycle of privation. Weavers toil hard in a condition where there no alternative opportunities left to them. Majority of them, have been working in the industry since their childhood. As regards wages, silk weaving industry they are able to weave a saree in almost 10 days and they get something around Rs. 350-400, however, the actual sum depending upon the quality of the weaving. Weavers, work on the looms for nearly 12 hours a day. During the marriage season when the demand for silk sarees increases, then the weavers have to work for long hours. Even prior to Id festivals when weaver need money, then most of the weavers toil for almost 16 hours a day. In the silk saree sector, dismal scenario abounds pertaining to the wages of the weavers. There is no system of written contract, the weavers go and buy raw silk from the market or from the loom owners. If it is the latter, then it is an advance by the loom ownersto the weavers and when the weavers have finally woven the saree, the loom ownersgenerally take it. Till the time the saree is not sold in the market, the weavers do not get anything. The other arrangement is that a weaver gets the design and silk from the loom ownersand then weaves a saree. However, weaving normally spans 7 to 10 days and the saree is then given back to the loom owners. The weaver gets a wage payment, only when the saree is sold. In the meanwhile during the intervening to manage his financial requirements, weavers have to take advance from the loom owners thus entering into a form of bondage with the creditor. Such practices are also common in the saree industry. The possibility of additional wage earnings, coupled with no assistance from the weaver's co-operatives forces the weavers to take their children out of school and ask them to work at homes in saree weaving. It came as a surprise that in saree weaving areas though a large number of weavers' families have been into this occupation for the last two to three generations, majority of them do not even own a loom. All looms are on contract and are owned by loom owners, who provide the weavers with the necessary raw materials. Weavers are capable of earning about Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 for a saree, which in turn requires about 8 to 10 days for completion. However, there has been virtually no increase in the wages for the past five years. Most of the women folk of the families are involved innari bharai (a continuous process when the yarn for the weft is reeled on small cylindrical object called bobbins)and children work for nearly 16-20 hours over a period of a week. The weavers have taken as a fait accompli to work under such low wages so they refrain from making any effort to set up our own looms. This is because the weavers
feel that, if they set up their own looms, then their own funds would get blocked. This is because their 'staying capacity' is too low to sustain during the lead-time when the saree is given to the loom owner and payment is received. When the weavers face financial crisis, most of them tend to take advance from the loom owners. Weavers are not willing to take any loan from the local moneylenders. The repayment of the loan is done in equal instalments at the time when completed saree is given to the loom owner. Weavers know that by taking advance or loan from the loom ownersthey actually get into some sort of bondage, till the entire loan is repaid. But we have no option left but to depend on the loom owners. However, for majority of the weavers, though the element of indebtedness is not there because no interest is paid on the amount taken from the loom owners At times, when weavers feel harassed at the hands of these loom owners, they look for a new master/loom owner, paying the loan taken by the weaver. In this way, the weavers keep on working for one master/loom owner or another but bondage remains the same, only hands change. Weavers toil hard, starting their work at 8.00 a.m. till 6.00 p.m. at a stretch spanning 10 to 12 days but earns a miniscule Rs. 350/- on a saree. During 10 to 12 days, the women and children in the family do the other side workneeded during the weaving but they are not paid for it.Weavingindustry has reduced women to the status of unpaid workers. Though these are important tasks but neither it¶s given recognition nor the value that they deserve and even it¶s not included while fixing the pricing of the final product. The plight of women is such that even if they earn Rs.10/- they do not have the right to spend it. They work, trapped in dark hovels like chicken. Their contribution does not have the kind of recognition thatit deserves. Their contribution is not accounted for while the productpricing is done. There has been no work done with women, and for any change to happen in the sector, their education, organisation and struggle for their rights will need utmost priority. The handloom weaving industry in India depends upon state and central government support for its survival. The industry depends upon skilled weavers, who for generations made a good living out of weaving. The handloom weavers in Uttar Pradesh state, Varanasi particular, are known for their skills of weaving intricate designs, which often take days and months to finish. After the introduction of the power looms the handloom wea vers were thrown out of business. To catch up, the weavers tried to form unions and co-operatives. These attempts were successful in some states like Kerala, where the government supported its local weaving industry with special packages. However in places like Uttar Pradesh, the state government neglected the industry to such an extent that the industry is now dead. Most of the weavers in Uttar Pradesh and surrounding places are from the Muslim community that finds isolated in the Hindu majority community. Adding on to the burden there is a huge import of cheap materials from countries like China which has broken the backbone of the entire handloom industry in India. The result is acute starvation and hunger in the weavers' families. Faced with lack of market for their product and resultant poverty, soon several members of the weavers contacted tuberculosis. Tuberculosis treatment and its success depend upon good medical conditions and nutritious food. Due to the failure and neglect of the government sponsored health centres and the inability to afford proper food, tuberculosis has spread uncontrollably in several parts of Uttar Pradesh among the handloom weaving community. Once a member of a family is infected,
several other members also get infected with tuberculosis. Lohta village in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh is one example. Out of an estimated 200 families of weavers some 50 persons are infected with tuberculosis, a preventable and curable illness in modern India. The plight of life of the following families tells the sad tale of government neglect, exploitation and starvation of many families, if left to their fate will soon perish. India being a country that produces some of the high quality drugs exported all over the world at the lowest prices denies proper medical treatment for its own people. The government initiated cooperative societies which are supposed to provide insurance and thrift funds to its members but being plagued with mismanagement and corruption, cooperatives failed in their appointed task. Benefits failed to reach the poor weavers. The loom owners, with the help of dummy memberships of the cooperatives, try to appropriate the benefits which are actually given by the Government to the cooperative societies. The provision of insurance and various other funds exist only on paper. Instead of ameliorating the plight of the weavers, it can be inferred that the Government run cooperative institutions created further misery for them, by helping create another set of exploiters - the master weavers. However a silver lining here was the khadi movement initiated by Gandhiji during the time of freedom struggle. Gandhiji thought unemployment to be a women¶s issue, and therefore symbolically as well as practically he introduced the µcharkha¶ (spinning wheel) as an instrument of the freedom movement. The propagation of khadi was to protect the employment of the poorest women. Spinning was an important home industry during the nineteenth century. It was source of livelihood for women of all castes, communities and even for the women of low income levels. Many widows supplemented their family income by spinning cotton yarn. Muslim women, who were not allowed to step out of their homes to earn livelihood, spent their time, spinning cotton thread. Thus spinning wheel brought economic independence, especially for women.Before 1947, the expansion of khadi was associated with mainly the goal of political and economic independence. After independence and in the absence of Gandhiji there was almost a rapid change in the attitude of the leaders. Significance of khadi changed from µLivery of freedom¶ to saleable article.Khadi over the decades has moved from a freedom fighter¶s identity fabric to a fashion garment. At one time it was secured as fabric for the farmer and rural wearer. Today there is such an increasing demand for khadi is that despite the million (women) workers all over the country involved in spinning it they are unable to meet the demands of the market.Many women contributed in Gandhiji¶s khadi activities. Even today women are mostly involved in the production of khadi in one of the five year plan reports. There are interesting figures 2.75146 villagers including 19,645 Harjans(untouchables) and Muslim scattered in at least 13,451 villagers received as spinners, weavers etc. Rs.34,85,609. The spinners were largely women. Now approximately 16 lakhs women are involved in different khadi related associations. If they spin the cotton for eight hours a day they get Rs. 60 to Rs. 80 today with the help of new techniques.
7. Role of government 7.1.Policies by the government 7.1.1 Objective behind the policies The Indian government¶s policy on handlooms till recently had an obsession with employment generation at the expense of other objectives such as efficiency and growth. The overall policy on handlooms on the part of the Indian government had 4 instruments: y Focus on forming and strengthening weavers¶ co-operatives as part of a rather complex organisational structure that also included ³apex bodies´ at the state and central levels and is supposed to provide inputs, and credit and marketing channels to weavers.. y Improving productivity and quality through improved looms, imparting new skills, designs and technology to weavers. y Provision of subsidies, including assured supply of cotton yarn and credit at subsidised rates; and other forms of protection including reservation of certain items for the handloom sector. Under the Hank Yarn Obligation Order of 1985, 50% of yarn production by spinning mills has to be in the form of hanks, for handlooms. y Setting up of welfare schemes to help weavers improve their livelihood and working conditions. The primary objective of the government¶s policy on handlooms since 1950 was the production of cloth for the masses in sufficient quantities and at reasonable prices. A range of varieties of cloth was reserved for production in the handloom sector, especially controlled or ³Janata´ cloth (that is, cheap cloth for poor, rural households). Moreover, the mill sector was forbidden in 1956 or thereabouts to install new looms to increase their capacity. The Textile Policy of 1985 was a continuation of the earlier policies of protection to handlooms in the form of reservations and hank yarn obligations, while the Textile Policy of 2000 was much more of a departure. For instance it recommended that the least skilled weavers should be shifted to semi-automatic power looms, and that the Hank Yarn Obligation Order be reviewed. 7.1.2. Schemes Government subsidies and protective measures include reservation of 11 varieties of cloth for the handloom sector; subsidy for Janata cloth that ate up over 50% of the total allocation to the handloom sector in the early 1990s until it was disbanded in 1996. Credit and marketing support by the government includes cash credit assistance at concessional rates to primary co-operatives and state-level apex bodies. Credit allocations across the states and districts are highly skewed and are based on very little verification of credit requirements. There is much evidence of bogus co-operatives that have cornered a large share of government credit. Government modernisation schemes have included the promotion of frame looms and jacquard looms, training to weavers in new techniques. Several drawbacks with frame looms that weavers have identified themselves such as less flexibility, having to weave in work sheds as opposed to in the house, more physically difficult, and substantial additional investment expenses which weavers cannot afford.
The Indian government has also initiated many developmental programmes and welfare schemes for weavers. For example the Handloom Development Centres Schemes introduced in 1993 and the Handloom Village Development Scheme, the Work shed-cumHousing Scheme, and the Thrift-cum-Savings scheme. It is hard to differentiate one government scheme from another as their goals are vague and they lack clearly defined priorities. They also seem to be devised by New Delhi and implemented at the state level without much reference to regional specificities or requirements. Handloom Boards in India It is the promotional concern and for establishing foreign markets that the Indian Government has set up various boards. The main task of such boards is to look after the production level, export and import facet, making schemes effective and providing necessary funds for the growth of handloom industry. Along with this, their work process also includes providing advice to the government on the matters of implementing new technologies or trends. All this helps in making the backbone of handloom industry ever more strong. Janashree bima yojna: - This scheme is from the Life Insurance Corporation of India for the khadi workers between the age of 18-59 years and who are below or marginally above the poverty line. The scheme requires a premium of rs.100 per annum per member, 50% of the premium of the scheme is borne by the government of India from the social security fund. The benefits are payable under the situation of death or accidents. Handloom export promotion council: The Handloom Export Promotion Council, registered under the Companies Act, 1956, was constituted in 1965 by the Government of India as the nodal agency for export promotion efforts related to the cotton handloom textiles. The Handloom Export Promotion Council provides a wide range of services: » Dissemination of trade information & intelligence; » Publicity abroad for Indian handloom products; » Organisation of business missions/buyer seller meets and participation in International trade events; » Consultancy and guidance services for handloom exporters; » Liaison with the Government of India on all procedural and policy matters relevant to the handloom export trade; » Dealing with trade complaints pertaining to handloom exports; » Liaison with the commercial agencies abroad for augmentation of handloom exports; » Facilitating product diversification and adaptation to meet modern market requirements; » Providing impetus to modernization of handlooms for the export market; and » Provision of design inputs to promote export of handloom products.
7.2 Criticism of the polices
y y y y
The Janata Cloth Scheme de-skilled weavers by making them shift to poor quality cloth. Only 30% of weavers are covered by weavers¶ co-operatives. The economic condition of weavers has not improved despite a plethora of developmental schemes for weavers. Steep increases in cotton yarn prices. In the 1990s export-oriented spinning mills were set up, which enjoy advantages over spinning mills in the Domestic Tariff Area, because of which there was a steady increase in yarn exports and a steep rise in yarn prices. Building of unsold stock and delayed payments by apex societies to weavers¶ co operatives has resulted in further deterioration of weavers¶ livelihoods.
8. Impact of globalisation 8.1. Introduction In the broad sense of a significant participation in world trade, the Indian textile industry had been µglobalized¶ for at least 200 years before 1950. In the period 1950-85, the level of participation receded, and the influence of such µglobal¶ variables as comparative factor cost or productivity on the textile industry declined in a regime protected by tariffs, quotas, and artificial exchange rates. The last 15 odd years has seen a return to globalization aided by limited reduction in tariffs and quotas and market-driven exchange. But this global world was a different one from the one before. If craftsmanship was the source of India¶s unique advantage in the eighteenth century, it was cheap labour in the late-twentieth century. But cheap labour was spread the world over, and capital being very mobile, competition in labour-intensive textile manufacturing was intense. In short, for a developing country, globalization was both a bundle of opportunity as well as a challenge. As one would expect, therefore, the effect of market opening has been mixed. In general, the market reforms led to sharp acceleration in employment and investment rates in the labour-intensive consumer goods industries, while leading to a deceleration in wages. Export opportunities played a role in the expansion, whereas internal labour mobility and access to informal and female labour accounted for the slowdown in wages. Export opportunities came as a boon for the apparel industry, and for the power looms who sold them the fabric. The stagnation in real wages, together with rise in productivity, implies increase in profitability. Lured by these prospects, in these highly labour-intensive and low-investment firms, an estimated one million jobs were created in the course of an export boom in the period 198596, nearly all of it in the informal sector. But the experience of exporting also revealed serious weaknesses of the supplier firms, weaknesses that arose due to inexperience, µasymmetric information¶ and chances of fraud, absence of regulation, and above all, poor infrastructure. On the whole, the informal sector firms have emerged as a major supplier to the world market, which entails a very large expansion in employment. But, individually, many of these firms are vulnerable, and so are the individual workers.
8.2. Impact on silk weaving industry The silk saree weaving industry witnesses a major impact of the globalisation, demand of Banarasi sarees has shown a downward trend over the years. Since the 1990s, when the economic boom has been sweeping the nation,the wages of the weavers are declining day-byday. Though the quality of the saree has gone up but it does not commensurate with the wages of the weavers. Presently, weavers who toil for 12 to 16 hours get half of the wages, which they got earlier. Moreover, the power looms have wreaked havoc in the lives of the weavers by snatching their work and pushing them to starvation. The middlemen and loom ownersare taking full advantage of their helplessness. Weavers' woes never ends, shopkeepers add one more to it by burdening them with complicated and tougher designs and further harass them by claiming that there are no buyers for the finished products. Such manoeuvring tactics are used as ploy to push the weavers to the brink of disaster and further tighten the noose on their necks of the weavers.As regards the availability of raw silk, it appears that the industry is passing through a phase of crisis. There is often an artificial
scarcity of raw silk is created by traders. If a small weaver was to go to the market to buy silk, then it would be difficult for him/her to buy in larger quantities who at the lowest rung of the industry neither have purchasing capacity to buy raw silk in huge quantities nor they have enough business in which the raw silk, if purchased could be used. However, interventions either by government co-operatives or community cooperatives in helping the weavers to gain easy access to raw silk, has been not of much positive consequence so the small and marginal weavers are left out in the bargain. They also do not have enough money at their disposal to block it by way of purchase of raw silk at the so-called subsidised rates offered by the cooperative.'Economic reforms' of the Central Government has harmed the sector with the unhindered entry of the Multinational Corporations (MNCs). Imported Chinese silk, which are cheaper, have flooded the market, which is brought via Nepal and available at Rs. 1100/- per kilogram so it has become the first choice for the artisans. While MNCs are being given a free hand to operate but so-called weaver friendly cooperatives are allowed to decay, at the cost of the marginalised weaver. Surat produces artificial silk (viscose) thread, which is available at a much lower price. Also, the Banarasi saree designs are being copied and to produce duplicate Banarasi sarees using artificial silk likematerial. However the deluge of artificial silk has pushed the Banarasi silk sector, reducing its business. It has resulted in further reducing the cost of the exquisite Banarasi saree produced in handlooms. When the product is substandard or the product loses its demand in the market, the weaver has to sell it at a price that may not even cover his labour cost. In the weavingindustry, imitation is not valued. The product with a unique design, patternand texture commands a high price. As soon as the design is copied, the product gets devalued. The weaver has to bear this loss. Change of product invariably involves substantial investment that affects the weavers adversely. Power operated looms also compound the problem, as an electricity connection is not easy to come by. Moreover, continued declared and undeclared power cuts add to the agony. 8.3. Migration due to liberalization: The policies of liberalisation have in fact had a deteriorating effect on the weavers' wages and employment. The exploitation has reached its zenith, throwing skilled artisans from the sector and pushing them to obscure work profiles, such as pulling rickshaws, peeling and selling green chanas, making incense sticks, cleaning garbage heaps. Women have started working as domestic maids in middle class houses in their neighbourhood. 8.4. Flaws in the government policies Handloom weavers are facing severe livelihood crisis because of adverse government policies, globalisation and changing socio-economic conditions. The national and state governments do have several schemes pertaining to production inputs, market support and development, meant to safeguard the interests of the weaving community. Ineffective implementation of the schemes and the changed context of textile industry, increasing competition from the power loom and mill sectors have been largely responsible for the crisis in the handlooms. Lack of information to weavers regarding various policies and schemes is no less a significant cause for the dwindling fortunes of the weaver community. Even government departments and implementing agencies related to handloom suffer from inadequate information and data resulting in a widening gap between policy formulation and implementation. In the recent decades, due to lack of information and fast paced changes, practices in handloom sector became static and apparently redundant.
Presently, government policies are increasingly influenced by the globalisation processes and are related to WTO-induced trade regimes. As the controls on exports get liberalised and domestic markets open up, the textile scenario in the country is likely to undergo drastic changes in terms of skills, inputs like designs, market trends and changing demands therein. In earlier planning processes at the national level, development of handloom sector was seen as a stimulation for rural development, being based on local resources, local craftsmanship and catering primarily for local markets. In the first decades following India's independence, all national policies emphasised this. However, current thinking at the apex policy level is that the handloom sector is a redundant profession and is a burden on the government exchequer. Political leadership, in general, has been avoiding taking up cudgels on behalf of the weaver community.
9. Conclusion The weavers of India thus constitute a large part of the unorganized or the informal sector in the country. Without any stable income, old age security through pensions or reliance on their younger generations, accessibility to easy and non-burdening loans and insurance facilities; the only assistance to these weavers, is the government. It is time that the state should realise the prominence of this ancient art and give priority to safeguard the interests of the beholders of this tradition. 9.1ILO proposition The fourteenth Asian Regional meeting of the ILO recently organized in Busan, Republic of South Korea (August 29th ± September 1st, 2006) endorsed an Asian Decent Work Decade (20062015), during which concentrated and sustained efforts will be developed in order to progressively realize decent work for all in all countries. During the proceedings, social protection was explicitly mentioned as a vital component of Decent Work by a number of speakers including the employers and workers representatives. The need to roll out social security to workers and their families in the informal economy, to migrant workers and to non-regular workers in the formal economy was also perceived as a major national social policy objective. The need to enter into a more intensive dialogue with respect to the design and financing of national social security systems to equip them to cope with the new requirements and challenges of a global economy also emerged as a major outcome of the meeting. 9.2 Initiatives by the Indian government The challenge of providing social security benefits to each and every citizen has already been taken up in India. In 2004, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government pledged in its National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) to ensure, through social security, health insurance and other schemes the welfare and well-being of all workers, and most particularly those operating in the informal economy who now account for 94 per cent of the workforce. In line with this commitment, several new initiatives were taken both at the Central and at the state level, focusing mainly on the promotion of new health insurance mechanisms, considered as the pressing need of the day. At the same time, and given the huge social protection gap and the pressing demand from all excluded groups, health micro-insurance schemes driven by a wide diversity of actors have proliferated across all India. While a wide diversity of insurance products has already been made available to the poor, health insurance is still found lagging behind in terms of overall coverage and scope of benefits, resulting in the fact that access to quality health care remains a distant dream for many.
9.2.1 Introduction The Indian Textiles Industry has an overwhelming presence in the economic life of the country as seen throughout the paper through its contribution to industrial output, employment generation, and the export earnings of the country. Currently, it contributes about 14 per cent to industrial production, 4 per cent to the GDP, and 16.6 per cent to the country's export earnings. The sector comes under the purview of the Ministry of Textile (MoT), Government of India (GoI). Because of the high employment in the sector and the cost disadvantage faced by handlooms as compared to the Mill & Power loom sectors due to the manual nature of production, the GOI has followed a policy of protection of the sector through interventions such as financial assistance and implementation of various developmental and welfare schemes. As a result, the production of handloom fabrics has gone up to 6108 million sq. meters in 2005-06, from 500 million sq. meters in the early fifties accounting for 13% of the total cloth produced in the country (excluding clothes made of wool, silk and hand spun yarn). The various schemes being implemented by the ministry of textiles for Handlooms address the needs of the weavers who belong to disadvantaged social strata and occupational groups which are at the bottom of the economic hierarchy. Concerted efforts are being made through the schemes and programmes to increase production, productivity, and the efficiency of weavers and enhance their income and socio-economic status by providing skill up-gradation, infrastructure and input supports to them. Under its welfare measures the MoT has implemented life insurance schemes, a health package scheme, a thrift fund and a work shedhousing scheme. The health package scheme evolved into the µHealth Insurance scheme¶ for weavers which were launched in November 2005 under a partnership with ICICI General Insurance Company for a two year period. In 2007, a new tender process was initiated and with some modifications and increase in potential targets. It was renewed with ICICI again for another 2 years. 9.2.2 Target population Within the textile industry, the handloom sector is one of the largest employers in India, providing employment to about 6.5 million people (second only to agriculture) as per the joint census of Handlooms and Power looms 1995-1996. The sector represents the continuity of the age-old Indian heritage of hand weaving and reflects the socio-cultural tradition of the weaving communities. This sector is highly dispersed and handloom weavers can be found in 470 clusters spread across the country. 9.2.3 Insurance plan
Eligibility All weavers whether male or female earning at least 50% of their income from handloom weaving are eligible to be covered under the ³Health Insurance Scheme´. The scheme is also open to the ancillary handloom workers such as those engaged in warping, winding, dyeing, printing, finishing, sizing, ³Jhala´ making, ³Jacquard cutting´ etc. The scheme covers persons between the age group of 1 day to80 years. The weaver and his/her family is covered, family being defined as the weaver, his/her spouse and two dependent children. Weavers belonging to Primary Weavers Coop Society, Apex Society/ Handloom development Cooperation¶s are automatically eligible, while weavers not belonging to these need a certificate from the State Directorate of Handlooms that they are fulfilling the eligibility conditions.
Exclusions The insurance plan excludes coverage for corrective cosmetic surgery or treatment, HIV-AIDS, sterility, venereal diseases, intentional self-injury, use of intoxicating drugs or alcohol, war, riot, strike, terrorism acts and nuclear risk. It also excludes critical illnesses such as cancer, paralysis, myocardial infarction, bypass surgery, kidney failure, stroke, TB etc. y Plan Benefits The insurance plan includes the following benefits: Hospitalization costs: Up to Rs 15,000 Domiciliary hospitalization: Up to Rs 4,000 OPD: Up to Rs 7,500 Limit per illness: Rs 7,500 Ayurvedic/Unani/Homeopathic: Rs 4,000 Dental treatment: Rs 250 Eye treatment: Rs 75 Spectacles: Rs 250 Baby coverage: Rs 500 Maternity benefit: Rs 2,500 y Premium Rate The premium rate in the first two years was Rs 1,000 per family of four. The weaver contributed Rs 200 per annum, while the Ministry of Textiles as contributor paid the remaining Rs 800. Under the current scheme (2007-2009), the premium was reduced to Rs 781.6 per family with a similar contribution sharing.
9.2.4 Plan Distribution In the first two years of implementation, the Insurance Company and its TPAs were to popularise the scheme and produce information material in vernacular languages. A prospective beneficiary was required to fill up an enrolment form and submit the same to the State Directorate of Handlooms along with his/her share of the premium. The State DoH scrutinised the application and forwarded the list of beneficiaries along with the premium to the insurance company who issued the Health Cards along with statement indicating names of individuals insured to the SDH, who informs the individual beneficiaries. Under the current scheme the Insurance company has to fulfil the following responsibilitiesprepare information related to the scheme in vernacular languages in different states, provide enrolment forms, enrol the weavers, collect the premium and deposit it with the state. In order to carry out these tasks, the Insurance Company has recruited cluster coordinators who in turn report to the district coordinators and ultimately to a state coordinator. Total ICICI staff presently stands at 550. ICICI reaches the target members through various means ± meeting with the Gram Pradhan explaining the scheme and identifying the concerned families through them. New meeting points such as Melas (fairs) and places of religious worship (e.g. Malwis in mosques) were also used. 9.2.5 Service Delivery Initially the Insurance Company had 3,500 empanelled hospitals across the country where members could receive cashless services on showing the health card. This number has now reduced to 1,650. In case a member chooses to take treatment in a hospital outside the panel, the expenditure is reimbursed by the insurance company. A unique feature of this scheme is the rural clinics that are also part of the network where a member can access cashless Out Patient (OPD) services. Such clinics have a doctor and a pharmacist who can provide consultation as well as access to medicines. The scheme has tried to locate such clinics for
each cluster. In the first year there were 10 and this figure rose fourfold in the second year. Currently, there are more than 300 rural clinics associated with the scheme. In most cases these were existing private doctors who were in a sense franchised into providing the services. In some cases however, the Insurance Company also helped in setting up such clinics. 9.2.6 Coverage The scheme succeeded in covering over 1 million people in its first year of operation. It recorded an explosive growth in Year III with 1.7 million families covered with an average family size of 3.8 ± over 6 million people ± ranking second amongst the largest health insurance scheme operating in India. 9.2.7 Contribution From Year I onwards, the Government of India supported the scheme through a fixed contribution (80%) to the premium. In Year III, this contribution decreased in accordance with the lower premium that was re-negotiated with the insurance company. Over a threeyear period the total GoI contribution amounted to Rs 1,648 million. In addition to the Central Government share, several State Governments also provided a contribution to the premium, thus reducing the part to be paid by the policyholder. While the State of Tamil Nadu contributed Rs. 50; most other States matched the weavers¶ contribution (Rs. 100 ± 10% of the former Rs. 1000 premium). This contribution is not expected to be affected by the recent decision to lower the premium amount. 9.2.8 Challenges y The insurance plan has still to address the following main challenges: y Geographical coverage: The scheme is presently covering a wide diversity of clusters across the country, which creates brand new communication challenges; y Overall coverage: The scheme already registered an exponential growth in terms of the number of insured in its third year of operation which is still expected to further increase next Year. This rapid growth puts severe strains on the accounting and monitoring functions; y Hospital network: The network has not stabilized over a three-year period. About half of the health facilities previously associated with the scheme were disempanelled in Year III; y Dual service payment mechanism: Although relying on a still broad hospital network, the scheme is not pure cashless yet and reimbursement operations significantly add to the workload; y Training and administration of a huge staff spread over various states; y Huge gaps in the management information system, as demonstrated by the incapacity to provide updated figures on all aspects of activities developed by the scheme ± such as insured demographic profile, gender-disaggregated data, number and cost of claims, hospital-wise claims distribution, disease break up of claims, insurance plan distribution and administration costs«
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BOSE TARUN KANTI; GLOBALIZATION PUSHES VARANASI WEAVERS TO HUNGER AND DEATH; PEOPLE¶S VIGILENCE COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS; ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION COMPENDIUM OF TEXTILE STATISTICS (2000); TEXTILE COMMISSIONER; MUMBAI DR. KAVITA V. SUCHAK; RURAL INDUSTRIALIZATION WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO KHADI; PUB. YOGESH SUCHAK; PAGE 52 & 61 HTTP://THAINDIAN.COM/NEWSPOTRAL/FEATURE/KARNATAKA -SILKWEAVERS-FRET-OVER-FALLING-PROFITS-DUE-TOGLOBALISATION_100210265.HTML.IXZZ0WKXUWVYN HTTP://WWW.INDIACRAFTS.COM/HANDLOOM HTTP://WWW.HANDICRAFTSOFINDIA.ORG/HANDLOOMSININDIA/HANDLLOMW EAVINGSTYLESININDIA HTTP://WWW.KVIC.ORG.IN/UPDATE/INSURANCE_KHADI_ARTISANS.HTM INDIA: HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME FOR HANDLOOM WEAVERS; ILO SUD REGIONAL OFFICE FOR SOUTH ASIA; SERIES - SOCIAL SECURITY EXTENSION INITIATIVES IN SOUTH ASIA INDIA TOGETHER; VARANASI WEAVERS GET GI PRO TECTION ± 01 NOVERMBER 2009.MHT KUNDU ABANTI; PATTERN OF ORGANIZATION OF HANDLOOM INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL PART ONE; SOCIAL SCIENTIST, VOL.9, NO. 1(AUG., 1980); PP. 18 32 MINISTRY OF TEXTILES; ANNUAL REPORT 2001 -02; CHAPTER V; HANDLOOM INDUSTRY M.K. GANDHI ; VILLAGE SWARAJ ; PUB. NAVAJAN ; AHEMDABAD ; PG. 3 NATIONAL EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL; ANNUAL REPORT 2004 -05 NEVE GREET DE; WEAVING FOR IKEA IN SOUTH INDIA: SUBCONTRACTING, LABOUR MARKETS AND GENDER RELATIONS IN A GLOBALVALUE CHAIN NIRANJAN SEEMANTHINI AND VIJAYAN SOUMYA; REPORT ON GROWTH AND PROSPECTS OF HANDLOOM INDUSTRY PRESENT SCENERIO OF THE INDIAN WEAVING INDUSTRY; INDIAN WEAVING INDUSTRY RAGHUVANSHI LENIN; INDIA¶S DYING WEAVING INDUSTRY; GUEST COMMENTARY; DECEMBER 13, 2007 RAJ ANJALI AND DEVA SIDDHARTH; INDIAN HANDLOOMS: AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE ROY TIRTHANKAR; NATIONAL OVERVIEW INDIA; TEXTILE CONFERENCE IISH; 11-13 NOV. 2004