Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shetkari Sanghatana Demands Minimum Secure Earning for Farmers, Farm Labourers

15 August 2016
Shetkari Sanghatana Demands Minimum Secure Earning for Farmers, Farm Labourers
Thousands of farmers came together under the banner of Shetkari Sanghatana in Anjangaon Surji, a tehsil town in Amravati District in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra on the eve of Independence Day to ask when will they have their freedom. They gathered at Tehsil office, where they were stopped by barricades put up by the commando police deployed there to prevent them from reaching the flag hoisting site in Tehsil office. They sported red and white Sanghatana badges on their chest and black bands on their foreheads asking “आमचे स्वातंत्र्य केंव्हा?”.  

The administration put up the condition that the farmers should remove their forehead bands if they want to attend the flag-hoisting ceremony. This they refused to do. After protesting at Tehsildar office they moved in a kilometer-long peaceful procession to the Market Yard grounds for a rally. The procession was headed by a bullock cart carrying Vijay Jawandhia, Prakash Pohre and Laxman Wange, all leaders of the Sanghatana as well as Bacchu Kadu, independent MLA of the neighbouring Achalpur constituency, and others.

AT the Market Yard the farmers heard their leaders for two-and-a-half hours and at the end took the Sanghatana oath not to rest till farmers’ lives are transformed into honorable ones.
Many speakers discussed the non-implementation of Swaminathan Report and blamed it on the official policy of exploitation of the farmer. Girish Sahasrabudhe said that the system is increasingly dominated by finance corporations and that those who live by their own knowledge and their labour have been reduced to a less than human condition with unequal treatment in all spheres of life activity. He said that farmers along with the farm labourer, the artisan and the adivasi demand that it is the first duty of the government to put in place a system in which their minimum income is at least equal to the minimum pay recommended by the Seventh Pay Commission and that this income should be regular. 

Prakash Pohre exhorted the farmers to strongly resist injustice piled upon them. He said that the farmers will not rest now and that this was the beginning of a new phase of farmers’ movement. He said the movement was fortunate to have mentors like Vijay Jawandhia who is among those few who kept up the resistance during the lean period after 1990. Vijay Jawandhia spoke about the misleading announcements of the Government and misconceived policies like crop insurance and Make-in-India. He talked in detail about the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and wondered how the Government plans to double the income of the farmer by 2020. He surmised that the minimum wage in the next pay commission may be around Rs 50,000 per month and demanded that the Government should come out with a clear plan within one year on how it plans to increase the minimum income of each farmer to this level. 

Girish Sahasrabudhe
Lokavidya Jan Andolan, Nagpur

No comments:

Post a Comment