Coir units swept under carpet here

Government is not yet taking steps for its rejuvenation


State Coir Development Board had set up a unit in Chamarajanagar in the year 1985 which has been making rope, foot mats, sleeping mats and also ropes with the help of machines.

But no steps have been taken by the government for the rejuvenation of the unit since then. The number of women who were attending the work is dwindling as they are not even provided minimum wages.  The strength of women working here which was 50 to 60 once, has come down to 18, at present.

Meanwhile, the board had constructed two buildings to set up powerloom units in the village. The building constructed at a cost of Rs 30 lakh is still now been handed over to the Coir Board. It is said that non-payment of the bill towards construction is the reason for the delay.

A coir carpet making unit was set up during the year  2005-06 and 2006-07, while the existing three looms are rusting. Currently, only rope and small mat making unit is running and women who are dependent on the unit has not seen any hope in rise in wages. They are paid Rs 10 for one kg of rope and three women make 10 to 12 kg of rope using one machine per day.

Three women, if they work from morning to evening gets Rs 100 based on the weight of the finished goods. So each women get only Rs 30 per day, which is not sufficient to meet their demands, while the others are being paid Rs 100 under Employment Guarantee Scheme, lament the women.

Moreover, there is no bonus or housing facility for these women, and naturally the number of women working here is decreasing say Rajamma.

The business at the unit is more than Rs 35,000 every month and it is the middlemen and those who sell the mats in retail are making money. Meanwhile, Regional Manager office in the village has been shifted to Beguru in Gundlupet taluk.

The lack of basic facilities and pay is the reason for the dwindling numbers of workers. But the demand for the coir products in the market has risen.

Employees Welfare Association president B H Govindegowda told Deccan Herald that there were more than 100 units in the State earlier, which has come down to 40. The problem is not pertained only to district but the situation is same across the state.

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