Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Ample evidence of child labour in South Gujarat's cash rich sugarcane belt, 24% "not enrolled" in school: Study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent German government-funded study, undertaken jointly by the NGO Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, which mainly deals examines the working conditions of migrant workers in the cash-rich sugarcane zone of South Gujarat, has gone a long way to suggest large scale prevalence of child labour during the harvesting season.
About 1.75 lakh workers, most of them landless migrants coming from the tribal belts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, are employed as harvesters in sugarcane fields, owned by the rich and politically powerful rural lobby, which has strong stakes in cooperative sugar factories in the region. Working for five to six months starting in November, these workers move in 5,000 teams led by 2,000 brokers or mukadams, an upwardly mobile tribal middle class.
The study says, “A very large section had been engaged with one or the other livelihood activity since they were children”, giving the example of Shiva Sonvani, a native …

"Bonded situation" among Gujarat's 50.4% of migrants in sugarcane fields; they're permanently in debt: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A German government-funded report has said that more than 50.4% of an approximate 1.25 lakh migrant labourers working in Gujarat’s prosperous sugarcane block of Bardoli, most of them tribals from Dhule and Nadurbar districts of Maharashtra and Dangs and Tapi districts of Gujarat, remain in a permanent state of debt, with their incomes going into “negative” as the harvesting season draws to a close.
Working from November to May each year, these migrant workers are trapped into a “bonded situation”, the report, titled “A Bitter Harvest: Seasonal Migrant Sugarcane Harvesting Workers of South Gujarat”, researched and published by the Prayas Centre for Labor Research and Action (PCLRA), and supported by Germany’s Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, says.
Prepared by an Institute of Social Studies, Surat ,scholar Prof Kiran Desai, and Prayas’ Sudhir Katiyar, the report says, a major reason why they are forced to in and around Bardoli is, “lack of employment and earning opportunities” in t…

Spike in illegal mining: "Model" Gujarat competes with Left-ruled Kerala, sees 28% rise in 2017, 107% since 2010

By Rajiv Shah
Latest official figures suggest that “model” Gujarat appears to be competing with Left-ruled Kerala in the spike in illegal mining cases. One of the top four Indian states which have witnessed a spike in illegal mining cases in 2017, Gujarat saw a 28.1% rise in illegal cases in a year, from 6,499 to 8,325, as against Kerala’s saw of a 31.34% rise from from 3,701 to 4,861.
The other two states, which saw a rise in illegal mining cases are Madhya Pradesh, by 1.86%, from 13,627 to 13,880, and Rajasthan 7.76%, from 3,661 to 3,945.
The data further show that, between 2010 and 2017, while “model” Gujarat saw 41,699 illegal mining cases, the rise over the years has been stupendous. In 2009, in Gujarat, 4,020 illegal mining cases were reported, which rose to 8,325, a whopping 107.09% rise.
The report also reveals that of Gujarat’s 6,499 illegal mining cases reported in 2016, FIRs were lodged in just 84 cases.
Revealing this, an authoritative report, based in data provided in Parliam…

Gujarat's 8% females employable; it's 31% in Rajasthan, 17% in West Bengal, 15% in UP: GoI-supported, CII-backed report

By Rajiv Shah
A new Government of India (GoI)-supported report, prepared by Wheebox, an online talent assessment company, in alliance with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has found that just about 8% of Gujarat’s female workforce is employable in as against 31% in Rajasthan, 23% in Andhra Pradesh, 21% in Karnataka and 20% in Telangana.
Even the so-called Bimaru state Uttar Pradesh with 16% employable female workforce ranks better than Gujarat, finds the report, which gives details of top ten states. Maharashtra’s 18%, West Bengal’s 17% , Haryana’s 15% and Tamil Nadu’s 11% female workforce is found to be employable in industries, says “India Skills Report 2017”, whose academic partner is GoI’s All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
Prepared in order to tell industry leaders where to get the male and female talent they have been needing in order to keep their enterprises running, the report claims to be based on…

Supreme Court bench relied on "Gujarat model" while delivering controversial SC-ST blackmail ruling of March 20

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Supreme Court bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit guided by what many consider the "much-hyped" Gujarat model while delivering its controversial judgment of March 20, which ruled that innocent citizens were being blackmailed under provisions of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (POA Act)?
A closer look at the Supreme Court judgment reveals that of the five High Court judgments quoted by the bench for insisting upon its blackmail argument, three were delivered by the Gujarat High Court. The other two were delivered by the Madras High Court and the Bombay High Court.
Bringing this to light, Gujarat’s well-known Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan says, what is especially strange is, the Supreme Court did not even consider the fact that only 2.33% of India’s SC population lives in Gujarat.
Suggesting that “while Gujarat has 8.5% of India’s ST population, too, the blackmail claim is parti…