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Opinion UP, Bihar labourers find jobs at home, Punjab agriculture hit

Discussion in 'Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat' started by kds1980, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    UP, Bihar labourers find jobs at home, Punjab agriculture hit
    Mansewak Singh

    [​IMG]

    CHANDIGARH: At a time when major ideological fights across the world are being impacted by economic models, there is need for the Sikh community to deal with a rather intriguing problem of migrant labour in Punjab. Here are the main thought markers: 1. Much of Punjab's agriculture has increasingly come to depend on migrant labour from UP and Bihar; 2. Migrants by definition are not voluntary migrants but are forced by the economic realities and lack of opportunities back home to land up in Punjab and work in the fields; 3. As a rule, the Sikh community must stand for opportunities for all, and it can only hail the achievements of schemes like NREGA in India which is providing for at least basic employment to populace in backward states. In fact, Sikhism's universal values only make us wish that these hard working people get even better wages and opportunities. 4. But better wages and good opportunities in Bihar and UP is cutting down the flow of cheap migrant labour which is affecting the farming activity, largely undertaken by Sikh farmers.

    Many reports in this paddy-sowing season have talked of the peasantry facing a heavy shortage of labour. Migrant labourers, mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who have been the mainstay of the state’s agricultural economy for the past several decades, have not come to Punjab this time.

    Desperate farmers in Punjab are making a beeline for railway stations across the state waiting for migrant labourers and are offering double the wages. There have been reports of the migrants even getting offers of liquor and drugs.

    Farmers, said one report, were offering wages up to Rs 2,000 for transplanting paddy in one acre, which is more than double the wages given last year.

    The Agriculture Department estimates a requirement of nearly seven lakh labourers for sowing paddy over 26 lakh hectares in Punjab this season. Only 50 per cent of the requirement has reached Punjab so far, according to estimates.

    Ironically, in the midst of these frenetic activities, a special appeal has come from the Bihar government asking migrant labourers from the state to come back home.
    Thought markers for Punjabis

    * Good farming economics cannot continue to depend on sub-human wages or exploitation of migrant labour.

    * One can only hail the fact that some govt schemes are providing labourers in Bihar and UP avenues to earn a living in their homestate itself.

    * But lack of labour is hitting Punjab farming.

    * Solution lies in making Agriculture more viable, wages for labour better and pushing for adherence to non-exploitative minimum wages rules.


    The special message is in the form of an appeal on behalf of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi asking the migrant labourers, who want to return home, but are being held back as bonded/forced labour in different places outside the state, to approach a special office in Bihar Bhawan in Delhi.

    The appeal, which has been published in select newspapers, promises government intervention in getting them freed and transporting them back home on government expenditure.

    A spokesman of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions said the Bihar government’s appeal was a welcome step and was aimed at striking at the unfair labour practices in some states where labourers were facing oppression.

    One of the several reasons for shortfall of migrant labour in Punjab has been attributed to the success of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, particularly in Bihar which has started absorbing a large chunk of native labour within the state.

    In order to tide over this crisis, the Punjab government has provided 700 paddy transplanting machines to the farmers so far by offering a subsidy of Rs 1.5 lakh for machines that cost between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 12 lakh.

    Agriculture experts believe that introduction of technology on a mass scale was the only solution to mitigate the shortfall of farm hands in the long run.

    24 June 2009
     
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  3. dalsingh

    dalsingh
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    Maybe some lazy sons should be encouraged to "roll their sleeves up"
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I read a news some years back that SMS were distrbuited in Punjab like Bihari bhajao Punjab bachao(kick Bihari's save Punjab) Now these same people are welcoming Bihari's:D:D
     
  5. dalsingh

    dalsingh
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    I recall in my early childhood that the family owned a timber saw mill merchant in Panjab. They had a few Bihari workers who stayed with us for many years and were like family. I remember one kind guy who would make dhud vallian semian (a short of pasta with cream) for greedy me! lol

    One guy was addicted to afeem and my grand dad nurse him off his addiction. The guy was loyal as you can be for that.

    Panjabis have made biharis integral to Panjab's prosperity. It is wrong to treat them bad. They are blessed with having Dasmesh Pita born in their midst.
     
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  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    If one will see racism against Bihari's at ground level he will be surprised that how much racist Indians are
    North Indians treat these Bihari's as if they are worse than animals.I am not at all surprised that they are not migrating to any other state
     
  7. AusDesi

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    Not sure about UP but certainly Bihar has come a long way in the last couple of years under Nitish Kumar.

    If anyone wants to see racism in India just look at the bashings by MNS with Police standing and watching.
     
  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    There is racism against UP bihari's everywhere and not only in Maharashtra
     
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  9. AusDesi

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    Not all of Maharashtra is bashing UP Biharis. It was only MNS. I know the Sena have done it in the past too but they've more or less given in to the Hindi vote bank.

    So prejudice towards UP Biharis exists in rest of India too but its never as obvious as MNS's racism.
     
  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    In future there is more chance of increase in regionalism in India as there lot of regional imbalance.some states like gujarat are progressing very fast while in UP Bihar there is poverty with high birth rate so its obvious they will move to other states which will threaten local leaders as they will create there own vote bank.This will give birth to more racism.
     
  11. AusDesi

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    Ye thats sounds right. However, I think the biggest problem for India will be the Naxals in the future.
     

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