Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) today requested Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to take up the issues facing the knitwear business during her June 14 meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a letter to her, TEA President A Shaktivel highlighted an array of issues like the need for an ESI hospital for Tirupur Knitwear Cluster workers, hostel for women workers’ and Rs 200-crore central grant to set up effluent plants.
Stating that existing ESI centres in Tirupur do not have proper amenities for medical treatment, he said an ESI hospital in Tirupur with necessary facilities to cater to patients with various major health problems was the need of the hour.
Considering that more than five lakh workers, mainly women, are employed in the sector directly and indirectly, TEA requested the Chief Minister to include the issue in the Memorandum and urge the PM to intervene and provide financial support to construct the same.
Though Tirupur was included in the list of Smart Cities, unfortunately while announcing implementation of the programme in the first and second phase, it was not done, he claimed.
The Tirupur knitwear trade contributes Rs 33,000 crore revenue per annum, both from exports and the domestic market without any comparative advantages like counterpart cities, mainly in infrastructure and other business facilities.
Tirupur stood first among 506 cities and towns in India in terms of providing employment, he said, adding that 44 per cent of its 8.78 lakh population was employed in the knitwear and stakeholder units.
The issue should be taken up with the Centre so that the city makes it to the next list of the Smart City programme, as it would directly help increase exports from that town and lead a quality life, Shaktivel said.
TEA also emphasised the urgent need for working women’s hostels and labour quarters to provide shelter for them, as 65 per cent of the 3.5lakh workers are women from a rural background.