Angmehnati Kashtakari Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella organisation of informal workers, has urged the state government for making provisions to implement an urban equivalent of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) as well as a special package for small and medium units.
During an 8-km long rally in Pune, from the Timber Market to the office of additional labour commissioner in Shivajinagar on Friday, the organisation highlighted various troubles faced by migrant labourers in the city.
The Covid-19 induced lockdown has been exceptionally tough for migrant and informal workers. As businesses shut down, labouers were left to fend for themselves and in the absence of work many started walking back to their home states in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. While the central and state governments had announced a series of welfare measures for labourers, most had failed to reach the ground.
Addressing the rally, Dr Baba Adhav, president of the Samiti, criticised the government for not addressing issues of migrant workers. He said the workers were left with no access to health, ration, income or social security. The labour welfare board had failed to rise to the occasion and had not registered the labourers in need. Leaders who addressed the gathering demanded that the state government activate the Labour Welfare Board as well as ensure small unit holders get packages to restart their business.
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