Archive for October 13th, 2010

October 13, 2010

Press Note – 13th October 2010

13th October 2010

Hindi Press Note

October 13, 2010

Media coverage – 13th Oct 2010

A commission should be set up for wages – Aruna Roy
Udaipur Express, 13th October 2010
Udaipur Express - 13 Oct 2010 - Mazdoori ke liye aayog gathit ho - Aruna Roy

Demand to link wages with inflation
Rhashtradoot, 13th October 2010
Rhashtradoot - 13 Oct 2010 - NREGA ka paarishramik mehengayi bhatte se jodne ki maang

A commission should be created for wages – Aruna Roy
Dainik Navjyoti, 13th October 2010
Dainik Navjyoti - 13 Oct 2010 - Mazdoori ke liye aayog gathit ho - Aruna Roy

Labourers have been left behind even after sixty years of freedom – Roy
Jai Rajasthan, 13th October 2010
Jai Rajasthan - 13 Oct 2010 - Azaadi ke saat saal baad bhi pichda hai mazdoor - Roy

Why isn’t a commission created to increase wages – Aruna Roy
Dainik Bhaskar, 13th October 2010
Dainik Bhaskar - 13 Oct 2010 - Mazdoori badane ko kyon nahin banata aayog - Aruna Roy

Commission should be created to fix wages – Aruna
Rajasthan Patrika, 13th October 2010
Rajasthan Patrika - 13 Oct 2010 - Mazdoori nirdharan ke liye aayog bane - Aruna

Let a commission be set up for labourers as well
Prathkaal, 13th October 2010
Prathkaal - 13 Oct 2010 - Mazdooron ke liye bhi aayog ka gatan ho

“Clarify stand on wages”
The Hindu, 13th October 2010

October 13, 2010

Press Note – 12th October 2010

12th October 2010

Hindi Press Note

With this press note are attached some documents, in both English and Hindi, as annexures. The same can be found below.

Hindi Press Note – Suchna Mela

Pictures taken during the Suchna Mela can be found here.

October 13, 2010

Sign the online petition appealing to the government to stop perpetuating forced labour

Click here to ‘Appeal to Government of India and State Governments to Stop Perpetuating Forced Labor’

Below is the text of the petition:

To: Government of India, State Governments

India’s celebrated landmark legislation, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005, was designed to provide a minimum level of income to all rural families while empowering them through a series of legal entitlements. However in an unconstitutional and deliberately callous decision, the Central Government has de-linked the wage paid to MGNREGA workers from minimum wage thus severely undermining the sanctity of the Minimum Wage Act, and attempting to legalize what the Supreme Court of India has declared to be “forced labour”.

In January 2009 the Central Government froze wages under this Act at Rs. 100 per day. Thus with time NREGA wages have fallen below minimum wages; and have also fallen in nominal terms with the unabated double digit food price inflation over the past year. Most state governments refuse to pay anything more than what the Center gives them and now several states (e.g., AP, Karnataka, Kerala, HP, Haryana, Rajasthan) are paying people working on MGNREGA work sites much below the minimum wage. In one of the more shocking examples, Rajasthan recently paid 99 workers in Tonk district one rupee a day after eleven days of work!

The Supreme Court, in three separate rulings, has held that non payment of minimum wages is tantamount to ‘forced labour’ prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution. Further the Supreme Court holds that ‘forced labour’ may arise in several ways, including “compulsion arising from hunger and poverty, want and destitution”. Consequently the notification itself has been struck down as unconstitutional by the AP High Court and declared unconstitutional by the Additional Solicitor General, Government of India.

As per the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS) report on poverty, 77% (~836 million) of the population lives on less than Rs. 20 ($.50) per day. But tragically, this Act brought in to empower the poor and eradicate poverty is now undermining one of the most fundamental protections for workers in the unorganised sector. With this notification, it is obvious that the government itself is perpetuating poverty, and blatantly exploiting the poor. It is morally reprehensible that the Indian State should deny its own citizens the right and dignity of constitutionally mandated wages while it boasts of 8-9% GDP growth rate and exercises global influence (member, G20 and demanding a permanent UNSC seat) as an economic superpower.

This is to request you to please write to the Prime Minister, Minister of Rural Development, State Chief Ministers to immediately put a halt to the unconstitutional and inhumane payment of less than the statutory minimum wage to the poorest workers of the country employed on the celebrated MGNREGA program.

Aruna Roy, Bhanwar Meghwanshi, Hariom Soni, Moti Lal, Richa Odichya, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh, Ram Karan and R D Vyas, Naveen Narayan, Renuka Pamecha, Rawata Ram.
(On behalf of the Rozgar Evum Suchna ke Adhikar ka Abhiyan, Rajasthan)

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The Undersigned

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October 13, 2010

Pictures from the Satyagraha – 12th October 2010

Pictures from the Satyagraha
12th October 2010

Khazana Rath Yatra

Pics from the satyagraha - 12 Oct 2010 - 1

Pics from the satyagraha - 12 Oct 2010 - 2

Pics from the satyagraha - 12 Oct 2010 - 3

Pics from the satyagraha - 12 Oct 2010 - 4

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