Government policies threaten right to food of weavers in Andhra Pradesh

The town of Sircilla, with a population of 100,000 persons is a major power loom weaving centre in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. Handloom weaving developed in Sircilla town in the 1920s. Over time, the skilled weavers of Sircilla developed unique designs and a niche market for their products. The looms gave employment to thousands of people, directly or indirectly. By 1990, the area had 10,000-12,000 power looms (owned by 800 people), providing a reasonable livelihood to over 15,000 families. However, their situation drastically deteriorated due to government policies.

Presently around 12,000 families depend on weaving in Sircilla to feed themselves. They are deeply indebted because they take loans to run their power looms or meet their household expenses. An international action is urgently needed to fulfil the right to food of weavers and their families in the Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.