Har Ghar Tiranga: Not a single weaver got orders for national flags, says leader of AP Chenetha Karmika Sangham
"Today, we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in a grand manner, but why do we forget the weavers," questions Pillalamarri Nageswara Rao.
Published: 15th August 2022 08:51 AM | Last Updated: 15th August 2022 08:51 AM | A+A A-
VIJAYAWADA: The Har Ghar Tiranga programme’s objective of inculcating patriotic spirit among the people, looks great. Anyone would assume that with crores of flags produced, our handloom weavers would have gotten sufficient work. However, the fact remains entirely different.
“Not a single weaver got any order for national flags, not just in Andhra Pradesh, but elsewhere in the country,” says the leader of Andhra Pradesh Chenetha Karmika Sangham. What is more hurting, they say, is that the majority of the fabric used for making flags has been imported from countries like China.
“Symbol of Swadeshi and the Ratnam (Charka) on the earlier flag represents handloom weavers. Today, we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in a grand manner, but why do we forget the weavers? Why do we forget the reason for the Swadeshi Movement, which was one of the most important parts of our freedom struggle?” questions Pillalamarri Nageswara Rao, vice-president of Andhra Pradesh Chenetha Karmika Sangham.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Nageswara Rao said neither the State government nor the Centre had placed an order for national flags with handloom weavers societies at the State level or manufacturing companies at the Central level. More shockingly, even Khadi Gramin Udyog was not given any order.
According to Andhra Pradesh Chenetha Karmika Sangham president Hema Sundar Rao, as per the amendment to the Flag Code on December 30, 2021, a flag made of polyester or machine-made flag is allowed, besides hand-spun and handwoven.
“We agree that amendments to the Flag Code allow the machine-made fabric other than cotton for making flags. But, it does not mean that handloom weavers should be totally kept away from the production of flags. Unfortunately, that is what happened,” he rued. Handloom weavers in the State are also unhappy with the government opting for power looms over handlooms in production and supply of uniform cloth for school students.
“The guaranteed work for the handloom weavers was lost with the Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (APCO) placing orders for the school uniform material worth `22 crore with the power looms in Nagari,” Nageswara Rao said.