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Extend MGNREGS to handloom, handicraft workers: SAREL
Sep '12
State Alliance for Rights, Empowerment and Livelihood (SAREL), a network of 45 non-governmental organizations working for organizing and empowering the most underprivileged sections of the rural society in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, has called for inclusion of skilled handloom and handicraft artisans in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The network, operating in more than 20 districts of the state, including Varanasi, aims to improve the quality of life of rural artisans of the state through sustainable and comprehensive development, said Dr. Rajnikant, State Convener of SAREL.
He said SAREL representatives from various districts have sought inclusion of skilled handloom and handicraft workers in MGNRES for livelihood. 
Besides SAREL representatives, handloom weavers and handicraft artisans have also put up similar demand before union ministries of rural development, textiles and small industries and also before the Chief Minister of the state, he added.
He mentioned that about 15 million people in the state rely on handloom, handicraft and other cottage industries engaged in making items like carpets, Banarasi saris and embroidery for their livelihood.
There has been a sharp fall in number of skilled workers in these sectors after the introduction of MGNREGS, said Dr. Rajnikant.
Several government-run financial institutions support SAREL for developing a favourable environment for self-employment, particularly for youth of the state, through different programmes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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