Tulasigeri village in Bagalkot of Karnataka weaves khadi cloth that is used for making the national flag hoisted at Red Fort and other such government installations. The stitching is done at the Khadi Gramodyog, Samyukta Sangha in Hubballi.
Days before the nation begins preparations for the Independence Day celebrations, a tiny village in northern Karnataka is busy making flags materials. The charkhas and handlooms at Tulasigeri in Bagalkot district, both pick speed as they weave the cloth required to make the tricolour.
However, the plight of these labourers who weave cloth for the national flag is still unnoticed. With Rs.80-100 as their daily wages, their demand is to be included under the NREG scheme. Notably, under NREG, Karnataka’s daily wage is Rs.224. Although the demand of these flag-makers is fulfilled yet.
“The flags made by us are waving with pride across the country. However, no one cares about the makers of these flags. No one cares about how much effort has been put into making it, or how much do the workers earn from this venture. We want the Centre to remove GST on Khadi as GST is making threads expensive which are making it tough for the workers to earn benefit from their business.”, said a flag-maker in an exclusive interview with Newscode.
Adding to the impasse, state govt has stopped grant-in-aid from the past 5 years, according to mandal office bearers. It has become very difficult to maintain the activities for tulasigeri khadi gramodyog mandal.
The labourers here, are remembered every year on 15 August and 26 January for their patriotic service. But authorities refuse to acknowledge their troubles.