A delegation of women textile mill workers met Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, minister of state for PMO, at the Parliament House today. Mr. Chavan assured them that personally he will speak to the Maharashtra Chief Minister on their housing demands and will see it resolved soon. The women workers demanded that the textile workers should be allotted at least 175 acres of land for 2.5 lakh textile workers.100 women textile workers from Mumbai had staged a day long dharna at the Jantar Mantar Road, New Delhi today under the aegis of Girni Kamgar Sangharsha Samiti and Maharashtra Girni Kamgar Union. The delegation was led by Datta Ishwalkar, Jaiprakash Bhilare, Pravin Ghag, Vaishali Girkar, Kalyani Jadhav, Vijaya Mantri. Mr. Ramdas Athawale, MP, was also present and supported the workers demands.Mr. Surendra Mohan, veteran socialist leader also extended his support.
Bharatkumar Raut, MP, raised the issue of mill workers in the Rajya Sabha during zero hour and said that it not a mere issue of workers. It is an issue of son of the soil. Local people must be given employment and housing rights. He also visited venue of dharna and extended his support. Mohan Rawle, MP (Shiv Sena) and Tapan Sen, MP (CPM) also visited the venue of dharna and extended their and their party’s support to the cause of textile workers. Surprisingly, Congress MPs from Mumbai kept themselves away from the dharna. This resulted in anger amongst women mill workers.
The demand included at least 175 acres of land should be given to mill workers housing, Government should bear the cost of construction of the houses, strictly implement the amendment under which each mill worker or one member from each mill workers family should get employment in the jobs generated on mill lands after redevelopment, Occupancy/residency rights to workers living in chawls on mill lands to be protected and conserve and protect the iconic Bharatmata theatre which has tenant status on mill land.
Friends from Delhi Solidarity Group, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, & organizations like NTUI, Centre for Education and Communication, The Other Media, NAPM- Delhi, Inter Cultural Resources, NCCI-Delhi, Focus on the Global South, Indian Social Institute, IDS, Nirantar, and Delhi Forum worked hard to make it successful.
(Datta Ishwalkar) (Jaiprakash Bhilare)
Girni Kamgar Sangharsha Samiti Maharashtra Girni Kamgar Union