Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Addressing a meeting of DWCRA group members, sponsored by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), here on Sunday, Dr. Reddy said the women members saved their hard-earned money in group accounts and worked hard for the movement which gave them little in return. Out of 4.20 lakh groups in the State, only 28,000 groups were given revolving fund.
Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy criticised the high interest rates charged for the DWCRA groups and said the Government had promised 4 per cent interest rate only after the Congress announced financial assistance to groups at 3 per cent interest. What little the group members gained from the thrift movement was lost when the Government lifted prohibition. In fact, the thrift movement spawned the anti-liquor agitation.
Dr. Reddy promised various measures to make the movement vibrant if the Congress came to power which include lifting of sales tax on refills of LPG sanctioned under the Deepam scheme, 25 per cent concession in registration charges for properties registered in the name of women and lowering of interest on revolving fund.
The CPI(M) politburo member, Koratala Satyanarayana, said DWCRA group members were exploited by the Government in all possible ways. Besides forcing the poor to save huge amounts without releasing them the promised revolving fund, the DWCRA members were subjected to exploitation as they were enrolled for sanitation work by municipalities.
For hours of hard labour, they were paid Rs 30 a day. Even in hospitals, the DWCRA members were exploited by extracting more work.
The Communist Party of India State committee member, K. Ramakrishna, the CPI(M) leader, M.A. Gafoor, the Congress leader, SPY Reddy and others spoke.
The State convener of DWCRA groups coordination committee, Swaroopa Rani, said the panel conducted a survey at 100 places and listed the problems of the members.
She said an 18-point charter was prepared for protecting the interests of women. The Mahila Sangham leader, Nirmala, presided over the meeting.
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