Weavers Lives Uplifment...

Introduction

Pathetic situation of a village "Kappaladoddi"- 10 Km from Machilipatnam and around 90 Km from Vijaywada, AP. Don't know how and where to start with....

Villagers - their livelihood

Procedure of how they practice their work and the way they get paid is.. A regular weaver, gets raw material from a source - that might be from society or any master weaver. They work on it and they get paid only when they return the complete product to the source. Payment would differ on the type, quality and product they work on.

Those who can't afford nor has no working setup (maggam) at home; they usually work in a work shop of any master weaver. Most of the product they do is sarees. For each saree they will be paid on an average of Rs.120/- and it will take 2 days to complete one single saree
So for two days they will get Rs.120. Isn't it an amazing pay they get for such hard work? Yes, now even more amazing is.... it's not the pay of a single person; it's the earning of entire family. In weaving, to complete the work, entire family must involve in some or the other way for sure. Just imagine how they will be living with such low paid income.

In additional to this let's see what else they are facing...

1. Credit pressure leading to Suicide

  • If they have any emergency or if any repair required to their weaving machine (maggam), they would have no other option rather than to go for credit.
  • Almost every weaver is under credit, they take money for interest from someone who can give them. Saddest part is they will never be in a position to pay back in clearance of their credited amount... how can they pay it, they have hardly get paid for their work and hardly they get something to eat and live. So throughout life time they will be just paying credited interest.
  • When they are not capable to pay back, then why do they take credit?
  • They are in this profession from generations; they know nothing than this work.
  • They are left of no option rather than to take credit to run their life and to hope they get good days soon after.
  • Very few stepped out, few are thinking to come out of this life, and few say they can do nothing rather than this work.
  • Credits are huge killing factor on them, they are living in frustration to face and see their inability to fill the credit back. There are many suicides, who came in to this pressure.(For figure speech, on an average credits one each family would be around 8-10k)

2. Climate/season

  • Rainy : When heavy rain, ground water level increases and water emerges out of ground (if we dig to 10 feet we can see water at this place in regular season). As this village is located in a coastal region, they face cyclones[tuufan] - in this case, village will be submerged with four feet level of water.
  • Summer: Weaving material (thread) would not survive excess heat and will be breaking in to bits. They could work only till 10:00 am in day time.
  • Once after rainy season, they will be having additional expenses. As weaving machines and related are made of wood, they have to get repaired ones water drains out.
  • Winter is the only season they work full time with no obstacles

3. Drinking Water (need to have more clarity on this)

  • Municipality water which comes here are very hard to take, and ground water is even a bit salty. Villagers who can afford are getting water from other village for money.

Things which make us feel better is

  • Almost every kid is going to School (Govt.)
  • To whom we met are all kind and honest enough.

But fact is...They are in DEAD NEED of serious support in terms of

  • Moral support
  • Good ideas which can make their community live better from debts
  • Financial support to back up any implementation

After 3 Visits to this Village and mind blowing discussions in Team meetings, SCF finally came up with providing an alternate livelihhood to the Weavers keeping in view that making weavers living better without killing their skill of weaving

SCF decided to go ahead with setting up a Paper Plate Manufacturing Unit as an alternate livelihhod.

Team Meeting Update

The values on which the Paper plate manufacturing unit will be set up is:

  • Each employee should be picked from very troubling family
  • Other than employee other part of the family should be practicing weaving for sure, ones this Condition is not implemented that employee should be leaving this unit with no explanation
  • SCF is not expecting any amount invested returned back, but after sometime (may be 3-5 months) when they are skilled and could market the product properly.. some percentage(10-20%) of the unit earnings should be kept aside, before employees shares the profit. And this amount will be used for a good welfare or helping the underprivileged of their village
  • No one is boss/manager of this unit, everyone should be treated equal (raises responsibility)
  • We will be signing a deal with all employees with all this conditions. Especially that SCF has authority to fire any employee at any point of time.
  • They have given time to go back and discuss with whomever they what and give us their word will they be ok or if they want any changes if any.
  • Irrespective when they come back to us in giving their word, we have conclude(in the meet) that if they are ok and want to start this unit, before we SCF task(machine purchase), we explained
  • we need raw material source to be found
  • Place where we fix the machine
  • As this unit is planned at kappaladoddi, all these have to be found nearer to them.

Note

Due to few disturbances of locals, this project is currently under hold.
As of now, SCF decided to finish with the pending (2nd shoot) documentary video shoot and then will finalize whether to go ahead with the project in this area or shall take up the weavers area where their is more requirement than here., which will be decided after the necessary research activity.

Better Hands for a Better Society...