Official data released recently showed that employment in the textiles sector has increased for the last few years. As per the latest available Annual Survey of Industries, employment in the Textiles and Wearing Apparel were 25.27 lakh in 2014-15, 26.48 lakh in 2015-16 and 26.97 lakh in 2016-17, Textiles Ministry data showed.
Government has been implementing various schemes for welfare and development of textile workers/weavers including handicraft artisans. Under the group insurance scheme for powerloom workers, insurance cover is provided to all powerloom weavers/workers in the case of natural death, accidental death as well as partial and permanent disability due to accident.
Additionally, the weavers/workers enrolled under this scheme are entitled for educational grant of Rs. 600/- per child half-yearly for two children studying in 9th to12th standard for a maximum period of 4 years. Under the scheme, total number of powerloom weavers/workers enrolled was 1.11 lakh in 2015-16, 1.32 lakh in 2016-17 and 1.62 lakh in 2017-18. Under the Textile Workers Rehabilitations Fund Scheme (TWRFS) which has been merged with the Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana (RGSKY) of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, the textile workers rendered jobless due to permanent closure of the mills, are provided a relief of 75 per cent of the wage employment in the first year, 50 per cent in the second and 25 per cent in the third year.
Under the “Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme, (HWCWS), life and accidental insurance are provided to handloom weavers/workers in the age groups of 18-50 years. It was, then, converged under Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana (MGBBY). The HWCWS has been merged under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana (PMSBY).
Total of targeted enrollment of weavers/workers under the PMJJBY and converged MGBBY are 5.32 lakh for 2017-18 and 6.65 lakh for 2018-19 which include 3.84 lakh for general states and 2.84 lakh for North Eastern States. As add on benefit to the above, scholarship@ Rs. 180/- per month per child is provided to a maximum of two children of the beneficiaries studying 9th to 12th standard.
Welfare programmes being implemented for handicraft artisansare Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana (RGSSBY), BimaYojana for Handicrafts Artisans (Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY), support to artisans in indigent circumstances, credit guarantee scheme, interest subvention scheme and issue of identify cards and creation of data-base.