Located in a maze of lanes in Sukhpura village of Barnala district in Punjab, Sarabjit Kaur sits with no longer no longer up to four aged girls folks of the identical village within the veranda of her home to debate straightforward dash ahead with knitting sweaters and woolens of kids sooner or later of present circumstances. Sarabjit Kaur, a Dalit lady luxuriate in a number of others luxuriate in her in Punjab had dreamt of making it tall by starting her have faith minute enterprise of knitting after availing mortgage from a micro-financing firm.
Whereas she began knitting woolens 10 years ago, she took loans from non-public financing companies to make additions along with equipment and manpower. Loans are also given to self-attend groups by these finance companies.
Sarabjit tells how she and five a number of girls folks who work along with her within the knitting enterprise historical to plot their residing by taking up orders from the Ludhiana hosiery industry. “We knit sweaters and a number of woolens and plot our residing but soon after the lockdown used to be imposed in March, our needs grasp dashed to the bottom. The enterprise has to this point no longer been recovered and there is now not any longer even a single expose from hosiery,” she lamented.
Despite any season, orders for woolens attend coming because the hosiery industry, concentrated in Ludhiana, starts getting orders for woolens from across the nation in June. Whereas many of the fabric is ready in excessive-tech machines in Ludhiana, some items are ready by girls folks luxuriate in Sarabjit in a number of cities of Punjab.
With no sale, Sarabjit and heaps change Dalit girls folks luxuriate in her grasp become helpless in re-paying the loans to the micro-financing companies. “Workers from the finance firm visits our home every now after which and humiliates us to repay the instalments. When there will not be such a thing as a sale, how will I pay attend the mortgage,” she acknowledged to The Logical Indian.
Many Dalit girls folks who grasp an entrepreneurial spirit avail loans from non-public companies to add to the household income. Dalit inhabitants within the voice is predominantly rural and tag in excessive focus in Malwa predicament or Southern Punjab. Majority of the Dalit men are employed in informal sector whereas the ladies folks conclude menial jobs.
As a tall collection of guys misplaced their jobs or weren’t in a position to discover work as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, it had been the Dalit girls folks who had been taking care of the households by doing menial works in Punjab. Many ladies folks had availed loans from non-public companies to grasp interplay cows and buffaloes to plot an additional income in addition to working at the properties of excessive caste ‘Jat’ Sikhs.
As per the census of 2011, Dalits manufacture 88.60 lakh participants out of total 2.77 crore inhabitants of Punjab. The total inhabitants of Dalit girls folks is 42.20 lakh. Out of the total 5.23 lakh households Below Poverty Line (BPL), Dalits manufacture 3.21 lakh households that manner that Dalits are the most predominant victim of poverty in Punjab.
One more Dalit, Paramjit Kaur from Barnala who had availed a mortgage to grasp interplay a buffalo has to promote the animal sooner or later of lockdown as she used to be no longer in a position to repay the instalments. “I again availed a mortgage to grasp interplay a cow at a label of Rs 25,000 sooner or later of the lockdown duration but can promote milk at a label of most fantastic Rs 20 – 25 a litre within the village. This has created scenario for me because the finance firm sends their workers to enhance the mortgage even sooner or later of this time when some relaxations has to be extended to the melancholy,” acknowledged Paramjit.
Dalits to remark
Dalit and workers organizations grasp now determined to seize their advise in opposition to the finance companies and grasp demanded no longer to pressurize these melancholy who grasp availed the loans to re-pay it, no longer no longer up to except the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Several protests grasp taken predicament in a number of districts along with Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Barnala amongst others in which the authorities has been criticized for no longer taking any action relating to the topic. Rallies grasp also been organized honest recently raising the topic of pressurizing ways being historical by micro-financing companies in opposition to rural girls folks.
A most predominant rally has been scheduled for August 31 in Bathinda district in which all these girls folks who grasp availed loans and are no longer in a position to pay it attend will discover piece.
Makhan Singh Ramgarh, senior chief of Mazdoor Mukti Morcha that is main the agitation in favour of rural girls folks says that sooner or later of the lockdown duration all these girls folks who had availed minute loans had been severely hit. “The authorities neither helped them financially nor had been their loans waived off as a result of which hundreds of households are below stress,” acknowledged Ramgarh.
“Admire so many farmers grasp dedicated suicide when they had been unable to repay the loans in Punjab, we’re alarmed that these girls folks could well perchance also be conscious the identical route because the finance companies had been harassing them to discover the instalments. In some circumstances girls folks had been asked to promote their home items to pay instalments” acknowledged Makhan Singh Ramgarh.
Nonetheless, experts imagine that taking loans from micro-financing companies turns into compulsory for Dalit inhabitants of Punjab as they conclude no longer have faith any property to be mortgaged with the authorities agencies or banks. “Institutional agencies issuing loans inquire of guarantee sooner than offering loans. These melancholy Dalits grasp minute properties in which they dwell and are left with no choice but to discover a mortgage from micro-financing companies,” acknowledged Prof Gian Singh, economist and retired professor of Economics division, Punjabi College, Patiala.
He acknowledged that despite many guarantees, successive governments in Punjab grasp failed to conclude justice with the Dalit inhabitants of the voice as a result of which their condition is mute noxious. “Govt could well perchance also mute enter the scene and rescue the Dalit girls folks who are trapped within the web of loans by ensuring minimal income and offering jobs below MGNREGA,” acknowledged Gian.
Dalit girls folks had been now even threatening the authorities to face penalties if their points are no longer resolved. Kiranpal Kaur, a resident of Barnala says that political parties attain to them every five years and neglect them after elections. “We are going to seemingly ensure that that these political parties who conclude no longer fulfil their guarantees are called out and their leaders boycotted sooner or later of elections,” acknowledged Kaur who had availed a mortgage for a stitching machine.