Unorganized sector needs Insurance cover
Year 2018 was somehow lucky for labourers employed for harvesting walnuts from trees-only four or five deaths from falling to the ground from top. In the fall of previous five years, we have had good 20-30 deaths per year resulting from harvesting of walnuts. What a brutal death is must be to fall from a height of 50-60 feet and fall on the hard ground below. Eyewitnesses say their brains just pour out and they are dead the moment they hit the ground.
It must be noted that most of these fallen men are seasonal laborers who temporarily migrate from hilly areas of Banihal, Kishtawar and Doda. They have dependent members of family behind who are left to fend for themselves. Being illiterate the family members are not aware of any help that can reach them through government.
Also take the case of masons who work while being dangerously perched on scaffoldings. Same is the case with carpenters who work on the wooden frames of roofs where a normal man would not dare to even step. In the past many years hundreds of masons and carpenters have fallen to their deaths or have been rendered immobile for a lifetime. We must bear in mind that these people, whom we conveniently refer to as unorganized sector, are important members of the society.
The government must educate the labor class about the various health and Life Insurance schemes launched by state and central governments. There is sheer lack of awareness among the labor class about the programs and plans launched for them.
Besides, we need to see the labor class as a nation builder and not as a second class citizen. We have to constantly see to it that with every revised pay commission and rise in the prices of eatables and medicines the income of masons, laborers and carpenters also increases. We cannot have a case where a mason falls to his death from the scaffoldings and then his family is forced to beg.
Society at large also needs to think over it while as the government needs to rethink about how the unorganized class can be better beneficiaries of the schemes, doles and programs launched by them.