Skip to main content

Sitharaman's package 'disrespectful': TUs, civil society networks, 900 people tell PM

In Gujarat capital Gandhinagar amidst lockdown. Photo: Kevin Antao
By Our Representative
While taking note of the 1.7 lakh crore package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the poor in India, the Social Security Now (SSN) has said that the package is “inadequate” and “disrespectful” of the recipients as it involves transfer of less than Rs 1000 a month to their accounts, and justifies payment of wages less than minimum wages.
SSN, a national network of civil society and informal workers’ organisations, said this in a petition it submitted a petition to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of Health and Labour, demanding transfer of Rs 15,000 to all citizens, for next three months.
The petition has been signed by more than 900 people, including representatives from trade unions and working peoples organisations such as AITUC, AICCTU, UTUC, SEWA-Kerala, National Domestic Workers Union, Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, National Alliance for People’s Movements, and prominent people including economist Arun Kumar, Biswajit Dhar, literary critic Hiren Gohain, sociologist Nandini Sundar, Satish Deshpande, feminist scholar Nivedita Menon, political scientist Aditya Nigam and others.
At this juncture, a distinction between organised-unorganised or BPL-APL is administratively cumbersome to establish
The petition said, at this juncture, a distinction between organised-unorganised or BPL-APL is administratively cumbersome to establish and therefore the transfer must be made universally without any discrimination. This will empower the vulnerable working population and give them money to buy daily food items, paying for rent, electricity, water, mobile charges, clothing and other essential daily expenses, the petition said.
The petition further demanded that since there are only about 25 crore ration card holders in the country, the Public Distribution System must be accessible to all people, irrespective of BPL or residential status, to procure essential food items during the period of pandemic.
The petition said government must ask companies to deposit at least 50% of the CSR funds in an account earmarked for such relief purposes.
Photo: Kevin Antao
While lauding the government for introducing Rs 50 lakh insurance cover to the corona warriors, the petition urged the Government that all coronavirus tests must be made free - whether they are conducted in public or private hospitals and labs.
The petition emphasised that while the entire population needs to be protected from the ravages of the COVID19 crisis, appropriate mechanisms must be developed to ensure proper inclusion of migrant workers, homeless, women – especially female headed households and single women, sex workers, senior citizens, children and other vulnerable sections in relief packages.
Special steps must be taken to take care of the specific needs of the vulnerable communities. Separate clinics or timings for ensuring safe deliveries in hospitals would be of paramount importance. Public buildings and facilities – such as schools, panchayats, AC train coaches etc can be used to provide immediate shelter and food to the homeless, migrant workers and other distressed sections.

Comments

anil said…
absolutely absurd to argue that at this time distinction above or below poverty line is meaningless? it is 'inclusivity of this kind, of undeserving' that deflects focus away from poor.
On one hand, we cry about 1000 rs transfer which is indeed too little and then at the same time ask for making the entitlement category bigger so that their share will never go up, sad, silly both

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.