1 May 2007
Don't Forget Workers on International Labour Day
International Labour Day is observed to pay homage to the workers who had laid down their lives for Labour rights in
One doesn't have to go very far from
Moving away from the
During the social audit the workers got to know that the actual due wage is Rs 58 per day, whereas they were being paid arbitrarily anything between Rs 30-40 per day before.
Chandralekha, who hails from Natpurwa village, infamous for 350 years old sex-work trade in Hardoi district, laments that despite of lobbying for more than 7 years, she got no response from authorities. Most of the population of natpurwa village will qualify to get BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards and therefore be entitled to get free rashion from public distribution system (PDS) under Antodaya Scheme. In reality, not even a single person has got BPL card or rashion supply under antodaya scheme so far in Natpurwa.
This is a dangerous trend, where we do have special days on calendar like International Labour Day, but while observing May Day today forget to involve the most important stakeholder – the workers' themselves. With vast majority of people working in unorganized sector, it becomes all the more important to raise awareness about rights of these workers so that they are not subjected to abuse or exploitation, says Dr Sandeep Pandey, noted social activist and recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award 2002. It is also important to provide security to these workers, like landless farmers for example. If they stop growing food, what will we eat then, asks another activist Mahesh Kumar of Kanpur.
A senior government official on condition of anonymity says that it is a huge challenge to talk of rights and regulations in unorganized sector. Not only corporate powers are slowing down the process, but also those whose vested interests are at stake. Real democracy and end of feudalism will only happen when we are able to restore dignity of life for every landless labourer, said he.
Let's hope the policy makers are listening!