Universalize PDS Immediately With Stat Doorstep Delivery !
Migrant workers walked kilometre after kilometre from city after city, running away from sure hunger and need to become beggars. They are still walking in thousands, even though a maximum have failed to reach. Over 40 workers died in this attempt. Workers are sticking it out in cramped quarters and slums; allowing the illusion of physical distancing to be kept alive. Workers are standing in lines for hours in city after city for just one packet of cooked food for one meal a day- the hands that produce wealth held out for crudely handed doles. PDS is for the card holder, stipend for the e- enrolled, wage for workers on registers.
The hunger of the wealth producers, their tremendous suffering, is waiting to burst. Its most tragic expression has begun with the suicide of a painter in MNC hub- leading Industrial City of India – Gurugram in Saraswati Kunj on 17th April. Small Savings exhausted, anyway self employed, father in law incapacitated, wife and four kids also dependent, probably not an e- registered construction worker (painters are in that category). The family, which had migrated from Bihar ten or more years earlier, depended on food provided by villagers. The worker sold his phone, bought some ration and a ceiling fan, gave his wife the rest of the money and killed himself. (Hindu, 18th April).
Was this workman not driven to his death by callous Govt and its fake assurances? No doubt the Supreme Court’s recommendation for psychological help would have weaned him away from suicide, but who is to address the hunger of the family, the mental torture of the erstwhile bread earner? Is anyone to be put in the dock by society for keeping the children of the working class hungry, when grain is spilling out of godowns? Who is going to answer and take responsibility?
If we do not demand answers no one will.
IFTU demands immediate criminal charges against the DM of the area and punitive action against him for failing to give food to the hungry family despite public assurances by Govts concerned.
IFTU demands immediate doorstep delivery in every working class colony of dry rations, fuel, cooking oil supplies. This is a death in which both the Govts concerned are not only the abettors but also the guilty.
President General Secretary
April 18, 2020