Ludhiana manufacturers protest govt move to buy uniforms via SHGs - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana manufacturers protest govt move to buy uniforms via SHGs

By, Ludhiana
May 18, 2024 10:08 PM IST

However, officials clarified that the uniforms are being stitched by self-help groups, providing employment to rural women

Uniform manufacturers and agents in Punjab raised their voice against the state government’s decision to provide uniforms to government school students through self-help groups. They allege that this move has “severely hit” the business of small agents and manufacturers who were previously involved in supplying uniforms to schools through school management committees.

Local uniform suppliers and hosiery associations members addressing the media in Ludhiana on Saturday. (HT Photo)
Local uniform suppliers and hosiery associations members addressing the media in Ludhiana on Saturday. (HT Photo)

However, officials clarified that the uniforms are being stitched by self-help groups, providing employment to rural women.

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Additional deputy commissioner (ADC D) Anmol Singh Dhaliwal said, “This is a state government project where self-help groups are helping the school management committee for completing the uniform orders. The raw material is being taken from locals. The project, PAHAL. is getting good response from the schools.”

Earlier, the school management committees would purchase uniforms directly from local agents and manufacturers.

Ravi, a uniform manufacturer, said, “The state government say they have given responsibility of an NGO through self-help groups that will provide jobs to the rural women and others in stitching the uniforms, but the uniform is being stitched from big players in the industry.”

The protesters highlighted how the decision has left them “unemployed and struggling to make ends meet”. They emphasised that they have been relied on the uniform business for their livelihoods for the past 13 years.

They urged the government to reconsider the decision and argued that providing uniforms through a specific NGO has favoured certain entities while neglecting the interests of small-scale manufacturers.

The protesters called on the government to restore the previous system where school management committees purchased uniforms directly from local manufacturers. They stressed the importance of supporting local businesses and ensuring that they are not unfairly sidelined in favour of larger organisations.

The protesters said that of their demands are not met, they would shut down their businesses and launch a stir against the Aam Aadmi Party-led government.

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