Image Courtesy: The Hindi / Kumar Pushpakar
Lawyers and labourers organisations have voiced their solidarity with farmers for the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on November 26, 2020 to demand the withdrawal of recent farm laws and the Electricity Bill.
The All India Lawyers Union Allahabad High Court unit requested all advocates to show solidarity for the All India strike of workers and farmers, to believe in the Constitution, democracy and oppose draconian change in labour laws and agriculture laws.
Similarly, Bihar’s workers Unions such as the Unorganised and Rural Labour Union, Unorganised Building and Construction Labor Union, Rastriya Madhyanh Bhojan Rasoiya Front, the Bidi Mazdoor Union and the Nagrik Adhikar Manch promised their participation in the march and asked for the support of other citizens to make the demonstration a success.
“Workers, farmers, students, women, Dalits, citizens and minority communities have only one alternative of a relentless combative movement to realise the demands of workers-farmers … We call upon everyone to stoke the fire in their hearts and rise in protest rather than meekly living their lives,” said organisations in a press release.
Voicing their support, members called for the immediate withdrawal of the anti-worker, anti-farmer labour codes and Bills, and asked the government to stop selling public sector undertakings like rails, electricity, to the private sector. They also asked for the suspension of outsourcing and the agency system.
Further, they demanded a minimum wage of Rs. 21,000 as well as social security and pension for labourers in the unorganized sector. Similarly, non-tax paying families should receive a monthly pension of Rs. 7,500 until a family member finds employment. Retired personnel should also receive a minimum pension of Rs. 7,500.
Regarding scheme-workers like ASHA workers, kitchen workers, organisations suggested monthly payment based on minimum wages. Workers under MGNREGA should receive at least 200 days of work while the government addresses the fraudulent practices within MGNREGA.
Meanwhile, the government needs to drastically improve the quality of amenities in public facilities such as schools, hospitals and prevent interference of private entities, they said. Political prisoners should be given unconditional release while police should refrain from repressing mass protests.
Following state elections, workers also asked the government to come through on their manifesto promises such as employment to 19 lakh persons, monthly allowances of Rs. 5,000, a vaccine for coronavirus, accommodation for the economically-disadvantaged families. They also demanded irrigation facilities, Minimum Support Price for agricultural products and farmer loan waivers.
On Constitution Day, farmers and supporting communities plan to march to Delhi from five main routes for a peaceful protest in the capital city. According to the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, more than 500 peasant organisations are to come together for this historic front.