1. The most urgent need is that of the reduction of the prices of the raw materials that go into weaving. The prices of the yarn, chemical and colours have to be decreased. A 45 per cent subsidy on yarn, as announced by the Telangana and Union governments, should be implemented.

  2. There have to be channels by the Telangana government and its weavers’ body, TESCO (Telangana State Weavers’ Cooperative Society), to purchase the finished fabric from weavers and market the same elsewhere. This has to be done immediately and effectively.

  3. The five per cent GST imposed on the handloom cloth should be removed. The GST only adds to the price of the final cloth in the market and makes sale of the same uncompetitive.

  4. There have to be policies towards health insurance for weavers and general insurance for weaving families at subsidised rates. These did exist earlier during the United Progressive Alliance regime at the Centre which have to be revived.

  5. Policies towards the weaving sector suffer from tokenism. Traditionally, the Budget speeches of both the Union and the State governments make a mention of the sector and the allocations for the corresponding fiscal year, but nothing happens thereafter. This ‘policy-tokenism’ should be done away with and proper implementation of the promises made in the budgets, allocations and schemes should be done.

  6. Flourine in drinking water is a public health hazard and calls for a speedy, effective and leak proof implementation of drinking water policies in the villages.

  7. Finally, in the wake of liberalisation and the havoc it has caused to the livelihoods of the village caste-occupations and handloom weavers, we not only need an economic policy but a robust social policy (in terms of public health and education) for villages in general and the weaving sector in particular.