Skip to main content

Migrants crisis: Govt of India 'appears keen' to supply of cheap labour to industry

Counterview Desk
The Government of India (GoI) continues to be immune to the issues and needs of migrants, the civil rights organization Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha has argued in a statement, underlining, it appears to be acting in such a way that the supply of cheap labour to industries remains intact against their wishes and rights.
Jharkhand is one of the major states from where workers go to “developed” in western and south India states in search of work.
Suggesting GoI’s intention appeared clear when these workers were made to pay for their own rail ticket plus Rs 50 if they wish to return, the statement says, this shows it providing to be “one of the biggest impediments” in ensuring their safe return to villages.

Text:

The sudden lockdown imposed on March 25 brought extreme misery to lakhs of Jharkhandi workers stranded in different places across the country. Most of them have not been paid wages by their companies or contractors. Even for getting ration and food, they had to seek support from one and all. Most of them are living in cramped up spaces, with little or no money and inadequate food supplies.
The central government continues to be immune to their issues and needs. Neither did it provide any income support nor did it ensure their food. The central government also expects these workers to pay for their own ticket fare, as per the order issued on May 2. The railway ministry further announced that travellers would have to pay an additional charge of Rs 50!
The central government is acting as one of the biggest impediments in ensuring the workers’ main demand – to get them back to their villages. After allowing their inter-state movement on April 29, the government shamelessly issued a clarification on May 3 that effectively meant that workers were not allowed to travel back to their states. It seems, the government wants to ensure supply of cheap labour to industries against the wishes and rights of the workers.
There is also lack of clarity at Jharkhand government’s end on how to bring the workers back. Meanwhile, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha and other civil society groups have been constantly raising the issues of workers on different platforms. In the backdrop of all of this, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha puts forth the following demands:

From the central government:

  1. Central government must immediately withdraw both the orders and take full responsibility of inter-state movements of workers, pay travel fare and ensure free travel and food of workers back to their native states. The government should further ensure that private travel operators do not exploit the workers.
  2. Workers must not be forced, in any way, to stay at their workplace against their will. 
  3. Workers must get at least the half of minimum wages, as per 7th pay commission recommendations, as an income grant for next three months. 
  4. To ensure adequate employment to all the workers in their native states, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) budget must be increased and urban employment guarantee act to be notified. 

From the Jharkhand government:

  1. The government must immediately notify a clear protocol for getting the stranded workers back – it must be clearly stated where the workers may register, timeline for movement etc. In addition to online registration, registration through call centre and offline modes through respective state governments must be made available.
  2. For those travelling from neighbouring areas and for intra-state travel, state government must bear the full travel and food expenses. 
  3. Rather than extending the lockdown indefinitely, Jharkhand government must test all the workers and isolate, if necessary. Panchayat and grams sabhas should be provided with all facilities and provisions to observe all rules of home quarantine or observed quarantine. 
  4. Jharkhand government must provide the grant of Rs 2,000 to all workers, as promised, within a week. 
  5. All returning workers must be registered under MGNREGA and adequate number of labour-intensive schemes should be started in all villages. Government must encourage farming and work towards improving irrigation facilities. It must encourage and incentivize cooperative farming and community ownership of land and natural resources amongst the workers.

Comments

TRENDING

HSBC shareholders seek exit from funding Adani's 'contentious' Australian coalmine

By Our Representative  In a move that may embarrass India's top business house known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shareholders of HSBC, a British multinational investment bank, the largest in Europe with total assets of US$2.715 trillion, are likely to decide at its AGM on May 28, 2021 a plan to exit coal financing related to the Adani Group, as it begins digging the Carmichael mega coal mine in Australia, reports Melbourne-based South Asia Times.

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.

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.

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".

Ciminalising 'tool' created, name: Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Rejitha Nair* The year 2021 in Gujarat opened its account with 647 alleged land grabbing cases under investigation, 16 FIRs filed against 34 land grabbers within 35 days of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020 (GLGPA), as informed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Gujarat State, in a press conference on January 22, 2021. He further informed that of 647 alleged cases, 605 applications of land grabbing were received by different collectors who have initiated suo moto proceedings in 42 cases. The total land in these cases is estimated to be around 1.35 lakh square metre, worth Rs 220 crore as per jantri rates (ready reckoner of land prices in different parts of the state). By March 15, 2021, at least six even cases are before the Gujarat High Court. Of about 11 cases reported in the daily newspapers, in three cases, grabbing of government land is charged, and the rest are land disputes between two individuals. The promptness of the district collect

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”.