<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans%3A400italic%2C700italic%2C400%2C700">Thailand Archives « Aam JanataSkip to content

25

Secret government proceedings at the best of Power Mill lobbies are apparently acting to have the Handloom Reservation act set aside, ruining the lives of lakhs of handloom workers nationwide.

It is no secret that Mills have long hated the Handloom(Reservation of Articles for Production) Act of 1985. The act basically lists traditional textile items as reserved to be produced on handlooms alone (handlooms are defined as anything not a power loom). It appears that now the mills will succeed in getting rid of this Act, unless citizens intervene. The mandatory pro-lobby opinion forming article in MSM has quietly appeared, but there is little noise over it. Notice how it is a piece that argues against the Act out of the blue - absolutely nothing in the news to provoke a reassessment of the Act. Usually an indicator that there is something in the background that is coming up that the piece is preparing the readers for (or rather, setting up opinion).

The argument basically says that since the power looms are already violating the Handloom Reservation Act, it should be scrapped. It is an interesting argument that can probably be applied to the entire IPC.

Here's what's going on.

Quote from an email appeal for help by Marchalla Mohan Rao, President of the Handloom Weavers' Association of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The Government of India is going to remove Hand Loom Reservation Act, which is giving some extent protection to the hand loom sector till now. Textile Department already Constitute a committee on this issue to analysis the implementation of reservation act and  possibilities of removable items of varieties of hand looms or to totally remove this act by putting in the Parliament for amendment. Committee meeting held  on 20th March,2015 in this regard in D C H Office Delhi, nobody telling about this issue, what is going on reservation act, they are maintaning the secrecy in the department.

In this context, we are all seeking  for your suggestions, how we can overcome from  this problem to protect the hand looms in india. In which way we can brought this issue before the government as well as civil society for their involvement for hand loom weavers movement.

So, please send your opinions and suggestions to over come from this problem and to protect the lakhs of hand loom weavers lively hood.

You can read more about the realities of weavers in Andhra.

Shyamsundari of Dastkar Andhra is more direct.

We had a two day deliberation in Delhi in the month of March regarding the importance of the Reservation Act in securing the interests of the handloom sector. I spoke to the Enforcement chief personally and to the two deputy directors. They agreed to come but failed to show up. The Secretary was given a direct invitation by one of the members of the Federation of Handloom organisations. Same was the case with the DCH. But there was no representation from the Handloom Department. And within a couple of weeks we hear from the enforcement officials(unofficially) that a move is on to repeal the Act. There seems to be a strong powerloom lobby behind the move and the Secretary Textiles seems to be playing an active role in the whole thing.

Livelihoods of weavers are already an issue. Third National Census of Handloom Units and Allied Activity Workers (2010) for Development Commissioner (Handlooms), ministry of textiles by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (India's oldest and independent think tank) tells us something about who these weavers are.

  • 87% of total household units (27.83 lakh) are located in rural areas.
  • Nearly 47% of handloom worker households are BPL and rest are non-BPL.
  • 29 lakh weavers constitute 76% of the adult workforce.
  • 9.38 lakh allied workers are 24% of the adult workforce.
  • Almost 67% weavers are engaged full time in weaving.
  • Almost 75% of handloom workers are women.
  • 60% of adult handloom workers have little or no schooling.

We are talking of some of the most vulnerable rural populations here. People who have no alternative employment. Three-fourth of them being women means that their loss of occupation and income is going to have a direct adverse influence on their children as well - a large part of income of women goes directly to the well being of their children. Lack of schooling means that the potential for already scarce jobs gets even lower. The one skill they do have will be rendered obsolete by mechanical alternatives that produce cheaper but employ far fewer people in a country where power is scarce and labour abundant.

The government's sabotage of rural employment schemes is only going to make this difficult. For a reference, textile mill workers rendered obsolete in 1993, are getting Rs 3000/- per month under Textiles Workers Rehabilitation Fund. They are not able to survive on these funds. Alternative employment for them itself is a problem without adding handloom workers to the mix. 15 lakh handloom households (53%) undertake handloom work exclusively for commercial purposes, while 4.38 lakh households (16%) produce for both domestic as well as commercial purposes.

Woman weaver at handloom from Walahjapet, Tamil Nadu
Woman weaver at her loom from Walahjapet, Tamil Nadu. Photo: Sweta Daga Source: ruralindiaonline.org

 

It is true that Mills already illegally produce and sell items reserved to be produced on handlooms. However, the law does protect the handloom workers, as action can be taken against the illegally produced goods. Also the illegally produced goods cannot undercut the prices of handloom produced goods. Without this protection, the market will be flooded with cheap textiles that the creators of handloom products cannot compete with. Yet, the soul of the traditional items will be altered forever.

"At present Crores of people are waiting for their jobs, every year more than 60,00,000 graduates/ post graduates/ technologists are coming out from the universities/ institutions. Why the government is not providing the employment to these youth, if there is any possibility." Marchala demands to know. "Another one important issue is if we alow the powerlooms in India; China, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Pakistan,Jermany,Korea, Thailand exporters are ready to dump their prodcuts in the Indian domestic market. It has not happened yet, because varieties are reserved for handlooms exclusively."

"Mechanization never creates employment, Our India has plenty of human resources. They should be employed by production activity. It is handlooms in rural India. No other industry except the service sector. Service sector also cannot provide employment regularly." It has been noted before by Ravinder Kumar that India had not added jobs in agriculture or manufacturing since 1995. Where is the rural person to seek employment?

"If we allow the powerlooms to produce the Silk/cotton Sarees and dress Materials, it will ruin the total handloom sector without any doubt. It will to the starvation among the weaving community and some parts of India it will lead to armed struggles, for example Jammu and Kashmir (where the official records require the government to adopt the Handloom Reservation Act or enact something similar, yet has not, resulting in the famed Pashmina being woven on power looms, damaging the livelihoods as well as traditional craft). Over 60% of India's weaver households reside in the North East and earn about Rs 300 per day. What happens of them and what will the impact of their disenfranchisement be on the regional unrest?"

Is this the future of our traditional arts at the hands of the government that appears to have interest in promoting both handlooms and traditions? Are we going to have exquisite silk saris produced by powerlooms that copy traditional designs and starve traditional weavers? What does a Ludhiana Power Looms pashmina shawl even mean?

Handloom sari at Walahjapet, Tamil Nadu
Handloom sari at Walahjapet, Tamil Nadu. Photo: Sweta Daga Source: ruralindiaonline.org

"On 29,80,000 hand looms more than 65,00,000 families of 1,20,00,000 people are depending for their livelihood. All these people will be abandoned by the state if powerlooms replace these creators of exquisite crafts like so much horse power labour mass producing identical designs.

The secrecy around the proceedings is ominous. This government has shown little inclination for accountability. It now depends on us to ask questions that require answers.

[tweetthis]Handlom fabric enthusiasts, please read this![/tweetthis]

Update: The Odisha government has opposed the bid of powerloom operators to get saris removed from the Handloom(Reservation of Articles for Production) Act of 1985.

This page aims to track extent of Cyclone Phailin relief and rehabilitation that will be needed based on news reports and tweets.

80 lakh people in 15,000 villages of 12 Odisha districts have been affected. 5 lakh Hectares of Standing Crops destroyed causing loss of about ₹2,400 Cr.

[mapsmarker layer="11"]

I am adding all news I come to hear, please add any I may have missed in the comments.

As you can see, being able to prevent loss of life has not meant saving livelihoods and homes. Your aid is as important as ever for the living. Here is how to donate or send aid for Cyclone Phailin survivors.

Note: The updates are neither in ascending nor descending in order to put related ones together, so time sensitive ones have time mentioned in brackets.

Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has declared that relief will be provided for 7 days to families in severely affected areas n 14 days relief 4 people in very severely affected villages.

Cargo ship MV Bingo, last sighted east of Sagar in West Bengal is missing. Feared sunk. Search now on for 20 crew members. Update: Missing crew has been located. No casualties.

"Chief Minister has reviewed the Phailin cyclone, not much damage in Andhra Pradesh, 1 casualty, horticulture belts damaged." ~ Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, AP FM

Electricity has been cut off in Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsingh, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. (7:30am)

"Electricity will be restored in BBSR, Cuttack, Puri by evening of today." ~ Energy secretary Pradip Jena

13 electricity towers damaged all over Odisha, including 9 in Ganjam district, where it will take 4-7 days (1:40pm)

Power has been restored in Rasulgarh, Jagmara, Aerodrome area in Bhubaneswar & in Cuttack Badambadi.

Massive destruction to kutch houses in Odisha, specially in Ganjam and Kheonjhar districts. Thousands left homeless.

Alert lifted for Andhra Pradesh (11am)

Surjeet Singh, Deputy Inspector General, NDRF said that efforts to clear roads jammed by fallen trees is on. They are also clearing the debris off damaged properties and check for any trapped people.

Morning after Cyclone Phailin dawns. Some damage to buildings and uprooted trees and electricity poles, but no loss of life reported so far other than those before cyclone hit land yesterday. (7:30am)

"No casualties reported so far due to cyclone Phailin." (8:00am) ~ National Disaster Response Force Chief Krishna Chowdhary. Also "More than 50 teams working in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh." (10:15am)

IAF to start air dropping of relief materials in affected areas after 11am. (as of 7:45am) Flights preparing to resume with some delays expected.

Drinking water being supplied door to door in Bhubaneswar.

"We are taking stock as to how fast we can restore tracks and restore passenger and goods traffic." ~ Anil Saxena,Spokesperson Railways

About 7000 passengers are stranded in Puri and top priority is to restore Puri-Howrah line, and help them reach Howrah. Update: Train services restored between Howrah and Puri. (4:30pm)

"3 Lakh Hectares agricultural damage. 80,53,000 people affected. 14,515 villages under cyclone impact." ~ Special relief Commissioner

Impact of Cyclone Phailin on Srikakulam

One person reported dead.

"Restoration of electricity, drinking water within 2 days in Srikakulam" ~ T Radha, Commissioner. Disaster Management

Impact of Cyclone Phailin on Ganjam district

 

Three deaths in Ganjam (NDTV) due to tree falling. Unclear if these are the same as yesterday or new ones being reported. Also, the numbers vary between 2 (The Hindu) and 5 (PTI) depending on publication. ZeeNews reported 7, which seems to be confirmed by Jay Panda's tweet.

Extensive damage to crops is being reported (NDTV).

Extensive damage to electrical grid, including damage to 9 electrical towers means it will take 4-7 days to restore electricity in Ganjam.

Impact of Cyclone Phailin on Berhampur district

Berhampur University Building collapsed last night soon after Cyclone hit. (Multiple sources)

Debris, trees down, electric infrastructure, some flooding have been reported. (NDTV)

Clearing felled trees has started already in some places. (local tweet)

Section of NH5 flooded (ANI)

Impact of Cyclone Phailin on Vizag

Wall collapsed at No.11 Jetty at Vizag harbour (also yesterday). (Local news)

Image: The Hindu
Image: The Hindu

Impact of Cyclone Phailin in Puri

Fishermen missing in Cyclone Phailin

18 fishermen reported stranded off Paradip coast - current status is unclear. Update: They have been found and rescued.

Cargo vessel MV Bingo from West Bengal is out of communications at sea. Last seen on the east of Sagar. Presumed sunk. Search on for missing crew members. Update: Missing crew has been located. No casualties.

This and other updates on Cyclone Phailin would not have been possible without the cooperation of a dedicated group of volunteers making information more accessible. Special thanks to @tw_bhav for doing a lot of the heavy lifting of sifting through information, @scorpiusmaximus for regular updates and detailed information as some familiar with the region and countless others.

With every crisis comes a plague of those profiting from it. Cyclone Phailin is devastating in its proportions and the damage it leaves behind. It is important to channel your aid through reliable organizations so that it reaches people on the ground rather than getting siphoned off or scammed.

I will confirm and update more sources as they announce their appeals. Scroll down for list of suggested necessities to send.

Here are several ways you can help that are fairly trustworthy. Include your name and address if you want IT exemption.

  1. The Prime Minister's national relief fund. If you have netbanking, you ought to be able to use it to securely donate to PMNRF - Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. Many banks will offer links to donate funds for crisis relief after natural disasters like the Cyclone Phailin later. Or you can snail mail a cheque or demand draft in the name of "Prime Minister's National Relief Fund" and send to Prime Minister's Office, South Block, New Delhi - 110011
  2. Chief Minister's Relief Fund Andhra Pradesh: You can Donate Online. Here are the instructions for doing wire/telegraphic transfers of your donations from outside India. The account details for the wire transfers should also work for depositing cheques - HDFC Bank Ltd, MUMBAI. Acct no : 0212320004718. Account name : The Chief Minister Relief Fund , Govt of AP.
  3. Chief Minister's Relief Fund for Odisha: Donate to “CHIEF MINISTER’S RELIEF FUND, ORISSA” (CMRF) by CHEQUE/DEMAND DRAFT payable at Bhubaneswar. All contributions to ORISSA CMRF may be sent to Joint Secretary to Government, GA (CMRF) Department, Orissa Secretariat, Bhubaneswar- 751001,Orissa. Donors can also remit through their bank directly to SB A/C No.10566116417 of State Bank of India, Forest Park Branch, Bhubaneswar, Orissa. They also have an online page for donations, which isn't working. I'll update when they fix it.
  4. Goonj.org is a website that works for rescue and relief after natural disasters. They accept aid in the form of money, clothing as well as other material contributions that can be put to good use by survivors. They have an extensive network where you can drop material contributions for relief at a location convenient to you and both Indians and foreigners can also donate online. You can volunteer for them where you live and organize collections of donations to facilitate greater aid. If you can organize truckloads from your locality, they will pick them up.
  5. Doctors For You run medical camps after disasters. Yes Bank A/C No: 000190300000030 Branch: Yes Bank, Worli branch, Mumbai IFSC Code: YESB0000001

Doctors For You do good work, and you should plan on donating to them, but not just yet. Let them announce their aid and make appeals first.

Here are some suggested items for donating:

  • Tarpaulin sheets, plastic sheets and other waterproof shelter materials. This is a biggie. Many homes are destroyed, even more have roofs blown off that will need to be covered immediately to protect inside of house from decaying in the rain as well.
  • Food: Vast quantities of dry snacks that can be distributed to those in shelters.
  • Essential medicines, first aid supplies, sanitary napkins.
  • MILK powder. Loads of kids living in shelters will need milk.
  • I would say clothes, but clothes are the most common gift and most abused. Give only practical clothes that rural people will wear daily and give clothes that are in GOOD CONDITION. There is no point spending money on transporting worn down or otherwise unwearable clothes that far, at cost that could be spent on things that can be used.
  • Blankets, bedsheets, karrimats/chatais/groundsheets.
  • Utensils - think basic, versatile pots, pans, plates, glasses, laddles and such. This is no place for the forgotten crockery from your wedding. Larger ones will be better than tiny ones. Think 2 liter volume and above for pots.
  • Anything else that is useful and practical. Make suggestions in comments, and I can put these up here. Check the Goonj website and aid requests on social media. There may be updates on specific needs.

Start sending! Help to rehabilitate lakhs of people will be needed rapidly now.

28

Note 2: For newer updates see Cyclone Phailin toll, relief and other information and information to donate or send aid.

Note: This page tracks resources. For monitoring breaking news from Cyclone Phailin, see the page for news updates about Cyclone Phailin. This page will be updated constantly. Please keep checking. Also check map of shelters, hospitals and control rooms.

Cyclone Phailin is a massive cyclone building in the Bay of Bengal and expected to hit India's east coast by tomorrow evening. Its severity has been guaged as 4 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being worst) and is expected to rise to 5 by the time it hits landfall. The cyclone is expected to affect Andhra Pradesh, Odisha (Orissa) and Madhya Pradesh. This page aims to collect all relevant information. Feel free to use the comments to add resources or request resources.

  • Over 500,000 evacuated in India via NDMA as of 5:00pm on 12th October
  • Over 35,000,000 in the path of Phailin
  • 20+ foot storm surge expected
  • Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated current significant wave height within Phailin ~56 ft.
  • All trains between Howrah and Vishakhapatanam have been cancelled as a precautionary measure. 56 trains have been canceled,16 diverted&4-5 trains partially terminated.
  • All flights to Odisha have been stopped, airports have been shut down
  • Doctors for Seva has two medical teams on standby in Hyderabad and Chattisgarh for Cyclone Phailin relief work.
  • At its peak, Cyclone #Phailin tied both the 1999 Cyclone & 2013's Typhoon #Usagi: Earth's strongest storm this year. http://t.co/o20mCoUN1M via @EricHolthaus

[satellite]

Helplines for Cyclone Phailin

Now there is a page with mapped helplines information

Control Room Contacts

Also Contact page for APEPDCL has details on various offices and customer service numbers.

West Godavari DistrictControl Rooms
Eluru Collectorate08812-230617
Eluru RDO08812-232044
Narsapuram RDO08814-276699
Kovvur RDO08813-231488
Jangareddygudem RDO08821-223660
Power Supply Control Rooms
Eluru Circle Office08812-231287/288920
Eluru Div Office08812-252150/232151
Nidadavolu Div Office08813-221093/221211
Bhimavaram Div Office08816-223464/228628
Tadepalligudem Div Office08818-221357/220777
Jangareddygudem Div office08821-225844/226864
Technical DEO, Eluru Circle94408 12703
Operations DEO, Eluru Circle94408 12704
Technical EO, Eluru Circle94906 10137
Operations DEO, Nidadavolu94408 12706
Technical EO, Nidadavolu94906 10142
Operations DEO, Bhimavaram94408 12707
Technical EO, Bhimavaram94906 10143
Operations EO, Tadepalligudem94408 12705
Technical EO, Bhimavaram94906 10140
Operations EO, Jangareddygudem94910 49797
Technical EO, Jangareddygudem94910 30712

East Coast Railway Helplines

East Coast Railway Helplines Vizag-0891-2505793, 08935-249672, Vizianagaram-08922-225510, Srikakulam-08942- 28722 Naupada-08945-249728, Rayagada-06856-6222407, Koraput-06852-251802

Shelters

List of cyclone shelters in Andhra Pradesh http://disastermanagement.ap.gov.in/website/shelters.htm

Shelters
OdishaTotal number: 10,042
Kendrapara:328
Jajpur:255
Jagatisnghpur:593
AndhraIcchapuram, Sompeta, Palasa,Etcherla, Kaviti mandals of Srikakulam dist: Total 32 shelters

How to prepare for a cyclone

https://aamjanata.com/wp-content/uploads/cyclonephailin-131011031453-phpapp02.pdf Presentation by Archana Kulshrestha

Track Cyclone Phailin

Sources of updates closest to ground zero

StandBy Task Force, OpenCrisis, Info4Disasters, HOT, ERCIS, EMA, CrisisMappersUK have teamed up?https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jAWzKP_Fhs5rzxzTChjvaDWNH319aHIzPywr327G0Xs/edit

Information on shelters, media, medical centers etc is at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AppW8Gi1zVHtdFFHSGViaEY5Y1NsYi1lc1NTTExxT1E&usp=drive_web#gid=0