RANCHI: At a time when political parties are trying to check migration of labourers in the name of human trafficking, CPI(Maoist) operatives in the forest villages of the state have accused the government and main stream political parties of taking away their basic rights to live and earn. Admitting that a large number of villagers migrate even from the districts in which there is a considerable Maoist presence, a senior Maoist ideologue said unless they (read the Maoist organizations) are able to provide livelihood opportunities to villagers, they have no right to stop them from migrating and earn a living for their family. “We cannot put a ban on migration like the government is trying to impose because people leave their villages in search of jobs when they find no opportunity in farming due to drought or lack of employment opportunities at the local level,” the Maoist leader said.
Describing class struggle for economic autonomy of tribals as the main tool for their empowerment, the spokesperson of Jharkhand Bihar Simant Regional Committee of the CPI(Maoist), Manas, said the party CPI(Maoist) had dug ponds to provide irrigation facility to villagers in their areas of dominance. “At some places in Chhatisgarh and some of the border areas in Jharkhand, marketing of forest produce is controlled by us in which many villagers have been engaged so that they can earn a living,” he said adding that they have no objection if people choose to migrate to neighbouring states in search of work.
The CPI-ML, another Left party that has been raising the concerns of workers, has formed the Pravasi Mazdoor Union in Giridih from where hundreds of workers have gone to the Gulf countries in search of jobs. CPI-ML MLA Vinod Singh said although the government had announced a policy to compensate the family members of workers who die doing hazardous work, no one has received the money till date.
Unwilling to forcibly stop people from moving out in search of job, Singh said a proper system of registration of workers and whereabouts of their family members needs to be in place. “We are concerned about providing safe and secure living to the workers and their family members instead of forcing them to stay back at home and die of hunger,” he said. The CPI-ML has planned a conference of the migrant workers soon after Durga Puja to discuss the matter on their homecoming.