The community is unhappy with the government for depriving them of employment opportunities.
Charmakar (Cobbler) community has played vital role in shaping up the politics of Maharashtra. The politics in Maharashtra is influenced and based on the caste system. This caste system is generally classified and divided into upper caste, backward caste, Dalit, Christian, Muslim and Non Marathi people. Charmakar (Cobblers) belong to the Dalit category and comprise about10.2% of the state’s population. Dalit community in Maharashtra mainly consists of the castes namely Baudha, Matang, Charmakar, Bhangi, Vhalar, Taral, Mhetar, Dhor, Khatik and Burud. Out of these, Matang, Bhaudha and Charmakar are having a sizeable presence. Bhaudha community is again divided in many groups of RPI. However, Matang, Charmakar and upper class Baudha society has started supporting BJP in large numbers.
For bringing the entire Charm-akar community under one roof, former IPS officer YC Pawar, appealed the community to unite and display their strength on 24th March at Kamgar Kalyan Man-dal, Dadar. Despite offering support to various political par-ties and contributing towards the state’s economy they have been denied employment and other benefits.
When AV spoke to Y C Pawar former cop who is heading the Maharashtra Charmakar Sangh, he said, “The government has sidelined the Charmakar Samaj and they are feeling neglected. So, we have decided to convene a meeting with Charmakar community on 24th March, 2015 at Kamgar Maidan.”
“We will put forward a proposal to the state government to offer employment to our community in industries and provide other amenities for the betterment of Charmakar Samaj. Since Mumbai is a hub for business and employment we will request the government to offer business center for the Charmakar community likewise Diamond market. We will put forward these issues in the meeting and will also meet the government representatives for the same” he added.
Yasheshar Warpe, Leader for Maharashtra Charmachar Paris-had said, “The government sho-uld provide reservation to the Charmakar community. We have put forward our demands before the government after visiting 28 districts of the state. The government has looked into some of them. We have put forward 70 demands but the government has only agreed upon 11 of them.”
“They should provide employment through employment exch-anges as it was done earlier. The government must establish employment centres in every district and should also build a Charmakar Bhavan in Mumbai. They should rehabilitate the leather industry workers in Dharavi itself after redeveloping the area. The government must establish the leather market on the lines of Diamond market in Mumbai. The government must conduct a census of cobblers just like they had done in the case of hawkers and demarcate a space for them to run their business” he added.
Sada Chambhar, a cobbler of Rohidad Sangh said, “The Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders played the Dalit card during the assembly elections, but failed to work for the welfare of the community after coming to power. Cobblers have never been given job opportunities or any other reservations or benefits. However, politically, the BJP has a different set of considerations underlying its token gestures to the Chambhars.”