The European Commission has committed a financial support of €750,000 for the cotton farmers, weavers and garment makers in South India under a project to improve livelihood and working conditions of the these people.
The Commission has been supporting this project since January 2008 and will run the same till December 2011. The project that is being implemented by Oxfam India has a target to ensure 8,000 farmers adopt organic farming and establish direct market access for 1,000 weavers.
About 63 percent of the total funds required for the project will be provided by the European Commission while the rest will come from Oxfam.
Oxfam, an NGO has been working with farmers and weavers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka since 2003, and encourages cotton farmers to opt for organic farming rather than chemical farming. Till now, it has managed to rope in 4,584 families into organic farming.
Oxfam has sold cotton worth Rs. 6 crore to the Cotton Corporation of India. It also has spread awareness about policy research, design development and collective marketing amongst 250 weavers.
The NGO also works with garment workers in Bangalore, especially with women, in partnership with Cividep India (Civil Initiatives for Development and Peace India) to deal with the issues regarding working conditions and wages in garments sector.
The garment workers in Bangalore receive an average payment of Rs. 101 a day, which is the lowest in India, said Mr. K.P. Gopinath, General Secretary, Cividep.
With the help of Cividep the garment workers have formed associations called Munnade (a women workers social organization) and GATWU (Garment and Textile Workers Association).
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India