Bitter lives of sugar factory workers
State bandh or general strike on Tuesday, called by all trade unions, is unlikely to strike a chord with the workforce put out of job due to closure of Nizam Deccan Sugars Limited (NDSL) at Mambojipally.
Medak: State bandh or general strike on Tuesday, called by all trade unions, is unlikely to strike a chord with the workforce put out of job due to closure of Nizam Deccan Sugars Limited (NDSL) at Mambojipally.
The workers are struggling to make both ends meet. But the trade unions, which will hold rallies protesting against “anti-labour policies” of the government, do not seem to be concerned of the plight of the NDSL workforce.
The workers’ colony adjacent to the several decades-old factory looks like village torn by an epidemic of unprecedented scale. But, the workers are too brave to commit suicide as is the case with a section of farmers. Weeds have grown all over the place and snakes are seen crawling and slithering all over the colony.
The management of the company has closed the factory abruptly. What is surprising is that the successive governments remain unconcerned though the government has held 48 per cent stake in the industry. Not only the workers, who have been deprived of their livelihood, but also the sugarcane growers and others have been hit hard. The trading activity in the village has come to a grinding halt.
The colony which used to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Srirama Navami and all festivals together, where children and youth used to form groups to play games like hide-and-seek, catch-me-if-you-can and colour-colour what colour do you want in the lush green colony; now looks like a woe-be-gone colony.
Anji Goud was a centrifugal operator at NDSL who was thrown out of work. Amrutha (40), his wife, who has been suffering from severe diabetes, had taken ill. Her treatment cost him Rs 1 lakh. He had thus spent all his savings. His small grocery shop too was closed.
Lalu (46), an boiler assistant, died the day he signed an application for getting settlement through voluntary retirement from his service last year. While driving back home, he died of a massive heart attack. There were at least 10 deaths due to heart attack since December 2015.
The management had failed to honour the agreement it had signed to pay ex gratia and 45 days’ pay and settle all dues such as provident fund and gratuity.
What is more distressing is that the workers, who are in great distress, are eligible even for Kalyana Lakshmi scheme because they are technically in service of the closed factory. The workers are appealing to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to understand their plight and lend a helping hand to them.
By Vivek Bhoomi