Skip to main content

Lockdown: Plea to pay wages to 90,000 sugarcane workers stranded in South Gujarat

By Our Representative
A division bench of the Gujarat High Court, comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice AJ Shastri, has taken up several public interest litigations (PILs) seeking assistance of the Gujarat government to urgently ask sugarcane factories and farmers to pay the wages to tens of thousands of workers, many of them from Maharashtra, stranded in the state, even as extend welfare facilities to lakhs of migrants stranded in South Gujarat cities.
Claiming to provide a “counter view” with respect to policies of the Government of Gujarat and Government of India towards providing assistance to disadvantaged and poor and needy section of the society, the petitions have been filed several civil rights groups, including Human Rights Law Network, Prayas and Bandhkam Majur Sangathan, through senior advocate Anand Yagnik.
The PILs stated that in South Gujarat region more than 22 sugarcane factories are in operation in five districts, where more than 2 lakh seasonal workers work in sugarcane fields of farmers, who are members of sugarcane cooperatives which run the factories.
It says, before the harvesting season could come to end in June, the lockdown was announced and harvesting has remained incomplete. However, more than 90,000 workers coming from Maharashtra with their families have been stranded and they are not permitted to leave Gujarat, nor are they allowed to stay in villages because of apprehension of the spread of coronavirus.
Known as koita, the migrant sugarcane workers have been stranded without assistance from contractors and mulazims, on one hand, and farmers and sugarcane cooperatives, on the other, the PILs said, adding, their earned wages are not paid by farmers and sugar cooperatives because harvesting has remained incomplete and lockdown has been announced to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Regretting that more than 90,000 workers are not on the record of the state because of the failure to implement labour welfare legislations and recognize their contribution towards sugar cooperatives, the PILs said, this a major reason why assistance from the state is not reaching the migrant workers, particularly those who are tribals and others from the lower strata.
According to the PILs, no assistance whatsoever in the form of cash, food, sanitation and other assistance is being extended, insisting, the state should take steps in extending all the assistance at the earliest. A report prepared by Ramesh Srivastava and Sudhir Katiyar detailing the sugarcane workers’ plight, was submitted to the court for perusal.
The PILs further noted the difficulties faced under the lockdown condition by migrant workers in Surat, who account for 58% of total migrants in South Gujarat. They citing national surveys and researches carried out by the Kiran Desai of Centre for Social Studies, Surat, Vipul Pandya of the Bandhkam Majur Sangathan and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) activist Krishnakant Chauhan to prove the migrants’ plight.
Migrant workers can't go to their hometown and quantity of food which is occasionally provided to them is quite less and abysmal
Mostly working in textile and diamond units and in the Hazira industrial area, the PILs claimed, of the total 10 to 12 lakh, about 7.5 lakh are from UP, Bihar and Odisha, adding, “No sooner the lockdown was announced their principal employers and owners abandoned them. No wages have been paid and no assistance of any sort has been provided except some exceptions.”
They added these workers “have been stranded without any assistance and are desperate for food security, financial security and other assistance necessary for their livelihood. Moreover they are not able to maintain social distance because of several workers residing in one unit.”
The PILs further said, “They cannot go to their hometown and the quantity of food which is occasionally provided is less and the quality is abysmal”, adding, “In the last week they have come on roads out of desperation and have been met with more restrictions and a FIR rather than providing assistance to them.”
“Same is the position of more than two lakh construction workers and more than 1.5 lakh workers working in the Hazira industrial area, including those working in units attached with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Larsen and Tourbo, the Adani group”, the PILs said.
Appearing for the state, advocate-general Kamal Trivedi stated that empirical date is available with the State of Gujarat and it will look into it and do the needful, adding, the state government would reach out to all the NGOs and would appeal to all those who want to contribute.

Comments

TSPSC INFO said…
Thankyou you for information.. Government should continue this lockdown till 15th MAY. www.esarkarijob.com for government jobs visit this website.

TRENDING

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.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen