Pollution is a big concern but daily labourers must not be scapegoatNovember 9, 2018
It’s often happen India that the judiciary and the government overlook the interest of the marginalized people who are affected the most by their decision. It has been observed that most of pollution-related decisions, taken by the government or court, hit the people who lead hand to mouth life.
Raising the concern of construction sector workers whose jobs were jeopardized due to decision of Delhi government to stop construction in the capital city, labour Union AICCTU affiliated Building Workers’ Union staged protest in front of Delhi CM’s Office.
Labour union, rightly, demanded providing Unemployment Allowance to all Construction Sector Workers in Delhi, and submitted a memorandum highlighting concerns of labourers.
In between huge hue and cry regarding Delhi’s pollution, a big section of Delhi’s poorest workers- daily wagers from construction sector, have been completely neglected. While measures for tackling pollution are necessary, any government should take care of all concerned parties before taking decisions which affect a huge section of workers. In the name of checking the menace of pollution in Delhi, all construction works have been banned resulting in massive crisis of livelihood for several hundred thousands of poor workers. While submitting the memorandum, AICCTU Delhi Vice President Rajiv said that these kind of tokenist steps will not help us in fighting pollution. The State and Central Government must initiate some concrete steps to change the pro-rich and anti-environment policies they have adhered to.
Chinta Devi, a construction worker who participated in the protest, highlighted the severe problems because of the stoppage of work and demanded unemployment allowance as per the minimum wages. VKS Gautam, General Secretary of the Building Workers’ Union, addressed the protesting workers and vowed to intensify the movement if the Government remains apathetic towards this very pressing issue affecting construction workers of Delhi.
The protest is indeed alarming as most of people are focussing on reduction of pollution but none of them is thinking about the alternatives for the daily wage workers. No doubt, lowering air quality in Delhi is a major concern but ignoring the weaker section is also not a good idea.