Antara Sengupta Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Mr. PM,

Although there is a list of reforms you should take up at the moment to recover our country from a situation of hell it is in, I myself would like to draw your attention towards the pitiable condition of labour laws here.

With innumerable cases of corruption surfacing up every day, public has lost all faith in the present government. It is not only with your government, in fact, every other party in this whole political arena has dozens of corruption cases in their kitty but are shamelessly carrying on with their so called Netas  in a white garb.

Needless to say, the labour force in our country too is a victim of poor administration by our government and age old laws which have never been amended to adapt to the changed working conditions of the present world.

Under  the Indian Labour Laws, making your employee work for more than 8 hours a day and 6 days in a week invites a penalty to the employer but hey! Penalty in India has altogether a different meaning. A menial 1000 rupees is what you are supposed to pay in case you are caught violating this rule. Oh! Did you not spend a grand on that café just the other day???

Coming to the age old tradition of contracting work force for an errand, the laws have been unjust towards this category as well. In most of the places, they are not even provided with an identity card which literally makes them non-existent as a citizen contributing towards the country’s revenue.

Being a journalist, I was on this trip to a remote Taluk of Karnataka called Byadgi where I met these minority Muslim class women who were engaged in the hazardous job of rolling beedis. Not only was the tobacco eating away their lives, they were struggling to survive with a meager amount of Rupees 50 for 1000 beedis they roll every day, and we thought government ensures minimum wages to every labourer of this country.

So, Mr. PM, if they want to approach somebody, where do they go?  We don’t listen to individuals here. Union? They are trying. But do you realise they are a bunch of lower class backward Muslim women and this is their sole means of earning a piece of bread for their families. Their children can’t go to good schools, the government doctor charges them money for an injection whereas they should be entitled to certain health benefits under your pseudo schemes.

All these schemes and programmes in the name of the poor is adding to your ministers pot bellies and the ones for whom they are made are retiring to sleep with empty stomachs day in and out, with no hopes for a better life they might get the next day.

So, PMji, Samjhoji  and do give your ministers an earful on how to formulate certain policies which actually penetrates to the lower level and help bring down the poverty index of our country.


Antara Sengupta

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.