Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan stands in solidarity with the sit-in protest of activist Angela Rangad to demand immediate action by Govt. of Meghalaya to release financial assistance promised to daily wage workers and unorganized labourers
Well known social activist and leader of the organization Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR), Angela Rangad sat on protest outside the main gate of the Meghalaya Secretariat for 10 days between 19-29 July 2021 to demand that the Meghalaya Government immediately releasethe income support promised to daily wage earners and unorganized labourers in 2020 to help them mitigate the economic distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year the Meghalaya Government had announced financial aid as a one-time payment of Rs.5000 to each labourer registered with Meghalaya Building and Other Construction
Workers Welfare Board (MBOCWWB). The State Government also announced that an amount of Rs. 2100 would be given to all to daily wage earners and unorganised workers,including domestic workers, hawkers, construction labourers, under the Chief Minister’s
Relief Against Wage Loss (CMRAWL) Scheme in three weekly instalments. Since 2020, Thma U Rangli-Juki have been following up on the promises of the Government and have been struggling to ensure the distribution of this financial aid. RTI applications filed by TUR have revealed several irregularities and many entitled to this financial aid have not yet received it. RTI replies find that many beneficiaries eligible for Rs. 2100 under the CRAWL Scheme have either not received any benefits or have received partial payments while many others met the criteria but did not find themselves on the beneficiary list.
Similarly, the RTIs reveal that the disbursement of the Rs. 5,000/- intended for each labourer registered under the MBOCWWB is also pending and has failed to provide the necessary relief.
Despite the several complaints filed by TUR and other organizations, the Government of Meghalaya has failed to take any action and release the financial assistance that daily wage workers and unorganized labourers are entitled to. The Government must acknowledge the demands of these organizations to protect the life and livelihoods of the most vulnerable sections of society pushed further into marginalization by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan stands in solidarity with the protest of Angela Rangad and urges the Government of Meghalaya to take immediate steps to ensure that financial aid is immediately provided to daily wage labourers and unorganized sector workers in a transparent and accountable manner.
The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan supports the demands of Thma U Rangli-Juki and appeals to the Government of Meghalaya and Chief Minister, Shri Conrad Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister, Shri Prestone Tynsong to take immediate action on the followingdemands:
(i) Ensure registration of all unorganized sector workers under CRAWL, and releasing the INR 2,100/- immediately to all.
(ii) Ensure release of INR 5,000/- to all labourers registered under the Meghalaya Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.
(iii) One time waiver of annual renewal/registration process or fee for labour registered with Meghalaya Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board
(iv) Ensure 200 person-days work under NREGA, annually across Meghalaya, with Rs. 600 as the per day wage.
(v) Launch Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme to provide income support to urban households to address the economic distress and growing inequality created by the COVID-19 pandemic