18 November 2019
Panel hears horror tales of women’s death in textile factories
Submitted by indiacontact on 24 October 2018
Chennai: Horrid tales of deaths of women in textile mills kept members of Tamil Nadu State Women’s Commission on the edge of their seats at a public hearing in the city on Tuesday.
“They found my daughter’s dead body inside the mill. When we questioned, we were told that she committed suicide due to love failure. The local police did not even file an FIR to probe,” said Puniyanathan, father of 18-year-old Vanaja, who was found hanging inside a sewing mill in Rasipalayam, where she worked a year ago.
The 60-year-old travelled to the city with her old photographs and identity cards to seek help at a public hearing held by the Tamil Nadu State Women’s Commission on Tuesday. “They cannot write off my daughter’s death as a suicide,” he said. “They must inquire.”
The commission heard 41 cases of violations committed against women working in textile and garment industries across the state. Many of them were of deaths in factories.
“Around 60 women workers have reportedly died inside garment and textile factories and their hostels in the last four years, most were alleged suicides due to depression. There might be many that went unreported,” said Karuppusamy, director of Rights Education and Development centre (READ), an NGO in Erode, who had come for the hearing.
The panel also heard depositions on accidents in mills, cases of compensation denied and low wages. Labour department officials also recorded the complaints heard by retired judges K N Basha and M Jaichandran, accompanied by Kannagi Packianathan, chairperson of the state women’s commission, V Amutha, member of the commission, Sathiya Priya, IPS, A Rathika, senior advocate Sudha Ramalingam and activist Henri Tiphagne of People’s Watch.
The panel also heard a few employers of the women, and ordered a detailed probe into some cases. “We will be following up each case individually with the local police and the respective district collector,” said Kannagi Packianathan.