Death of Kashmiri Labourers in Uttarakhand- A Tragedy Beyond Belief

The death of seven Kashmiri labourers due a landslide in a remote area of Uttarakhand is a tragedy beyond belief. Before getting into other things let us start with the basics. Who goes out into those deep gorges and highland hair-pin bends to ferry road-building materials on back. Who from Kashmir would carry stones and bricks to that hostile topography of Uttarakhand? Who would toil those bridle paths carrying sand and gravel?
    These are the people from our own state, mainly from Uri and Banihal. These sturdy people often are jobless in winters as the construction work in the valley comes to a halt. So they shift to nearby mountainous state of Utttarakhand where the road building work is ever going on. For months and months they toil on those highland geography carrying stones, gravel and other elements of construction on their back. Back home these sturdy workers leave a host dependents-widows, young children and old age parents.
  Though our government has expressed grief over the incident and also promised an ex gratia relief of two lakh rupees, the plight of the dependants in Uri can only be understood by those who have lost any earning hand in their family. Only a few days back we wrote about the plight of the unskilled class or as the government likes to call them unorganized sector. We highlighted the plight of laborers, masons and carpenters who fall from the scaffoldings and are paralyzed for a lifetime.
 We reiterate that the state and central governments have launched an insurance cover for the unorganized class. However, the lack of awareness about these schemes makes them of no use for labor class. Time has come to make the unorganized class including labourers, masons and carpenters aware about the various insurance schemes that government has launched for them. Besides, as a society we also need to rise up to the needs and requirements of the host of dependents that these laborers have left behind.
We pray for peace to the departed souls!

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