Monday, January 24, 2011


HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN UNORGANISED SECTORS-GOVT INITIATIVES- A CASE ANALYSIS S.KRISHNAN (copy of the draft paper presented in the National level seminar held atGRI-Gandhigram In march 2010)

In 1948, the world community spoke through the United Nations Organization (UNO) by establishing a framework for human awareness and protection with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This was the first time that the protection of human rights was officially declared an international responsibility. Since then, human rights education and awareness has taken sort in countries all over the world. The UDHR is based on the values that are shared by ancient philosophies and many religious traditions, especially the idea that with our individual rights of other human beings. UNO’s article 25 says that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the rights to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, old age or other lack of circumstances beyond his control.” Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Unorganized labour is defined as those workers who have not been able to organize themselves in pursuit of their common interest due to certain constraints like casual nature of unemployment, ignorance and illiteracy, small and scattered size of establishments etc .
As per the survey carried out by the NSSO in the year 1999-2000 the total employment in both organized and unorganized sector in the country was the order of 39.7crore. Out of this, about 2.8 crore were in the organized sector and the balance 36.9 crore in the unorganized sector. Out of 36.9 crore workers in unorganized sector 23.7 crore workers in agricultural sector, 1.7 crore in construction, 4.1 crore workers in manufacturing and 3.7 crore each in trade and transport, communication and service.
Unorganized workers may be categorized under the following four broad heads
*nature of employment
*specially distressed categories
*services categories
Small and marginal farmers,landless agricultural labourers,fishermen, those who are engaged in animal husbendary,beedi making,building and construction works,weavers,artisans etc, may come under first category.Attached agricultural labourers,bonded labourers,migrant workers,contract and casual labourers come under the second category.Toddy tappers,scavengers,carriers of head loads,loaders and unloaders,belong to the specially distressed category.Midwives,domestic workers,barbers,vegetable and fruit vendors,newspaper vendors etc,comes under the service category.
*The unorganized sector suffers from cycles of excessive seasonably of employment.
*Majority of the rural workers do not have stable and durable avenues of employment.
*There is no formal employer-employee relationship
*Workers in the unorganized sector are usually surrounded by a lot of fads,and outmoded social customs like child marriage,excessive spending on ceremonial festivels which leads to indebtedness and bondage.
*There is no authentic data on unorganized workers.
* It contributes 60% of GDP.
* Unskilled labour of much work.
* Absolute poverty of workers.
* Most works are unregulated and the markets for their labour are far from unstructured.

Based on the above interpretations the human rights violations are taking place in everywhere in unorganized sector in the form of wage, employment, education, refusing to accept the social and cultural values of the human. Poverty is also a human right violation. poverty violates human dignity and human dignity is the foundation for all human rights. People living in poverty are often faced with feelings of fear, powerlessness and dependency. They are often unable to participate in the decisions that affect them or the community they live in. Upholding both social and economic rights and the civil and political rights of people in poverty are important when attempting to eliminate poverty. It is important because, violations are inter-related. Social and economic rights are imp without being able to meet people’s basic needs such as sustenance, education and health-care, people will continue to be marginalized. Extreme need for basic sustenance, education and health-care, often means that they are unwilling to exercise their civil and political rights.
According to the planning commission report, 28% of the people are living below the poverty line in India. N.C. saxena Committee reports as 50% and tendulkar committee reports as 42% are living below the poverty line in India.

According to Arjun K Sengupta chirman National commission for enterprises in the unorganized sector, poverty in India is 80%.He further says “poverty is a human rights violation.poverty is not a function of income only.From the point of view we define poverty as a denial or violation of basic human rights because it violates your dignity. IMF and WORLD BANK are not accepting human rights as a legal rights and their Articles of Agreement do not talk about human rights.He asked this institutions to amend the Articles of Agreement. By late they have realized that as their business is development they have to amend their policies to make them consistent with human rights standards.
Punjab State human rights commission(PCHR) received a total of 17144 complaints of human rights violations in 2005.According to the National Commission of human rights of India “More than 62000 human rights violations are recorded annually ,On average,two dalits are assaulted every hour, three dalit women and children are raped ,two dalits are murdered and at least two dalits are tortured or burned every day “.According to “Charter of Dalit Human Rights” drawn up by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights describes the numerous violations of rights of Dalits. The Indian GOVT must be held accountable for the structural denial of 260 million men,women and children of their right to access to resources to maintain their livelihood,to education,adequate health care and the right to participate in institutions.Dalitt women’s labour is labeled as unskilled,and therefore,unrecoganised,underpaid,even unpaid.About 85% Dalit women work in agricultural sector,which is unorganized and does not have facilities of social securities,found in other organized sector,such as maternity benefits,medical support,etc.Dalit mothers have to bring their infant children with them to work in fields where there are no child care facilities.Sometimes they are not allowed to do this, and loss their jobs in the agricultural sector.
To safeguard the people from human rights violations the govt… has enacted much legislation to provide the social, economical, cultural rights to the unorganized labourers.
It starts from minimum wages act 1948, the workmen’s compensation act 1923, and the maternity benefit act 1961, the employment provident funds and miscellaneous provisions act 1952, building and other construction workers act 1996,building and other construction workers welfare cess act 1996,inter state migrant workmen act 1979,protection of civil rights (PCR) act 1995,scheduled caste and scheduled tribes(POA)act 1989,and rules 1995,protection of human rights act 1993,right to information act 2005,National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005are directly Safeguards the unorganized labours. There are some employment oriented schemes like swarne-jayanthi gram swarojgar yogana, pradhanmanthiri gram sadak yojana, sampoorna gramim rojgar yojana, Employment Assurance scheme.According to official data in 2009-2010 NREGA provided employment to 45 million households, each households earning about Rs.4000 on an average.
Even after the various measures taken by the Govt to improve the economic conditions of the unorganized labourers. Still they are not entitled to practice their social and cultural rights because of existing social customs in the villages. The social rights claimed by particular community are analyzed in this case study.

T.veppankulam , a tiny village 15km away from kariapatty block of virudhunagar district, where the dalits claimed their rights to take photo in a govt scheme-Kalingar Maruthuva Kaapeetu Thittam in a first come first serve basis, they are not only refused their rights and also threatened their life by the dominated caste people of that village.Due to their atrocity , the dalits vacated their houses and stayed in kariapatty-the taluk head quarters, for more than 50days
Objetivs of the study
* To examine the Socio-Economic conditions of the Dalits.
* To study the reason for the conflict.
* To study the steps taken by the Govt… administration to resettle them in their village.
* To study the social, cultural values that affects the rights of these village human beings.
*To find the solution for the proplem
On 3.10.09 the next day of Gandhiji’s Birthday the officials of the Govt were registering the beneficiaries and taking photo in the in the panchayat union school. During the time the dominate caste members bypassed the queue and taken photo, this was questioned by Muniyandi s/o Veeran belonging to scheduled caste youth. Kannan s/o Maniyan used fifthly language and scolded by caste name of Muniyandi resulted wordy quarrel arised .The verbal exchange led to violence, five Dalit men, including V.Muniyandi, a wage labourer, were badly beaten . Muniyandi says “As usual they made casteist remarks against us and began to tharash us”.The terror did not stop there,Fearing that the Dalits would file an FIR against them,the caste Hindus surrounded their houses and refused to led them out.Those who had got in state transport buses were also forcibly made to step down.Muniyandi was again beaten up by a 40 - member group with slippers and sticks when he tried to meet his wife at a nearby house. Around 6.00pm he managed to escape to Kariyapatty 15-Km away ,when his wife wrapped him in her sari and smuggled him in to a bus.On 04.10.09 all others vacated their residence and stayed at Kariyapatti-Taluk headquarters.The police registered a case in A.Mukkulam police station crime no 114/09 u/s 147,148,294(b),323,355,324,506(ii)IPC r/w 3 (i)x of SC/ST (POA)act 1989 against 21 persons.
The District administration has taken various steps to resettle them in their original residence.13.10.09 and 22.10.09 Peace Meeting by RDO Aruppukottai. The Collector of Virudhunagar has personally taken care to safeguard the civil rights of the Dalits and made them to settle their village on 2.1209, and conducted a Peace meeting along with all groups.During the meeting Manokaran s/oMayandi made disturbance to the meeting .The V.A.O made a complaint against him and he was arrested on the day itself. The monetary relief of Rs 25000 / each for 26 persons and Rs,6250/ each for 4 persons were sent to Govt under SC/ST(POA)Act 1989.A community borewell exclusively for Dalits with an estimated cost of Rs 1.97 for Irrigation is sanctioned,and a Modern Latrine for Dalits is also sanctioned.
Findings of the study
The dalits are minority in this village and they constitute only 12% of the total households.
The main occupation of the two third of the affected group is agricultural coolly
Only one percent of the Dalits are farmers and having less than one heactares.
Among the 30 Dalits households 50% of the head of households are illiterates,even those who are literates are studied up to primery level,only one boy is studing +1 in the nearby school he is the highest qualified person in dalits.
Among the 30 households 3 are small farmers,20 are agricultural labourers,4 are masions,and the remaining 3 are construction labourers.
All the dalits are having own house constructed under JVVT schemes.
All the dalits are having job card and employed on an average of 50 days under NREGA scheme.
All the women are agricultural labourers,but 95% of land is owned by dominated groups.
Due to their poor economic conditions they depend upon dominated caste for their occupation.
The District administration has taken various measures by means of registering cases, conducting peace meeting, releasing financial assistance and creating communal assets like irrigation bore well and modern latrine.
Asian human rights commission (ACHR) summaries, that caste discrimination continues unabated in India. Even positive reservation made with the intent of mainstreaming the dalit community does not solve the problem, the control of the upper caste by way of employment, social,cultural,political customs still make the obstacles in the way of dalits upliftents.

No Country can ignore the plight of unorganized labour of its population. The unorganized labourers in India must be considered as equal citizens with equal rights. For this the government of India must recognize that development must be carried out through a bottom-up approach, rather then spending billions in developing satellite cities catering for the neo-rich middle class. A Country like India, which is rich in food reserves, has no excuse to justify a single death from starvation. Each death from starvation in India must be considered as a stain on democracy. A hundred deaths from starvation a year must prove that India is a failed democracy. So the unorganized sector should be given more importance. The Only way to solve the problem is creating more and more employment opportunities and industries with more employment. Improvement of the unskilled labourers by training will also improve the economic conditions. If economic conditions improved than they will fight for their rights in right sense.
1. Mapping India’s world of unorganized labour- Social register 2001. Barbara Harriss, White and Nandini Gooptu.
2. Poverty estimates and food entititlements -Jean Dreze , The HINDU dt 24.02.10
3. Dalits the poor and NREGA- , The HINDU dt 12.09.09
4. I’m a little nervous about NREGA-2-Josy Joseph.
5. Why is poverty a human rights violation?
6. Unorganized labour –labour Bureau Simla.
7. Poverty is aviolation of human rights The Hindu Dt 18.11.2005
8. India Human Rights Report 2006- www.Asian Centre for Human Rights.htm
9. The Indian Express.Madurai. Dt 18.10.09
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