Condemning remarks allegedly made by Rural Development Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar that Self-Help Groups members are falling in the debt trap by buying cosmetics, Telugu Desam Mahila Activists on Wednesday staged a dharna at Basheer Bagh crossroads, demanding that the Minister withdrawal his comments and apologise to the women of the state.
The Telugu Mahila members accused the Minister of not understanding the financial problems faced by the poor women and making irresponsible, hurting and insensitive comments.
Criticising the Minister for issuing such irresponsible statements, the protestors demanded his resignation for not understanding the problems poor women face.
The protestor further said that instead of initiating action against microfinance institutions for trapping SHGs into debt and charging exorbitant interest rates, the Minister was blaming the women.
Mr Vasanth Kumar had allegedly stated that SHG women members are taking loans from microfinance institutions to buy make-up, beauty creams and powders and falling into debt trap, at a workshop on social security for women SHGs under the aegis of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty.
“The Minister’s statements will hurt the sentiments of every Telugu woman. The debt-ridden women and rural folk are forced to commit suicide, unable to repay loans. If the government has provided loans properly through banks, the situation should not have arisen at all,” they stated.