News Karnataka
Friday, January 21 2022


Factory worker Siddabasappa gripes about PF discrimination

Dubai: The 9th episode of Subalterns by Village TV Trust, Mangaluru and St. Loyola College, Bengaluru was held on Friday November 26 at 4.30 pm IST.

With the objective of ‘P2P – Local to Global’, the show is aimed at providing a platform for unheard young voices of the society and thus create a supportive environment.

The programme host was Spearhead Media Group Mentor and Advisor Valerian Dalmaida and Co-host Kiran Nirkan. The weekly programme is in Kannada.

In the beginning of the programme host Kiran Nirkan explaining the motto of starting ‘Subalterns’ said, “the new series has been started with an intention to provide a voice to the voiceless people, who belong to the marginalised communities of the society. As a part of the decennial celebrations of NewsKarnataka, we have undertaken this initiative.”

Speaking further he welcomed all the participants of the talk show series.

Pramod, son of Siddabasappa and Sujatha were the special guest for the day. Siddabasappa is a factory labourer and his wife Sujatha works in a garment factory. Pramod utilises his day offs in the school to earn a living and aspires to become an HR manager.

Siddabasappa has been working in a furniture factory from past eight years and has married off his daughter and is now sending his son to pursue higher education.

Stating to have been into irrigation work earlier, Siddabasappa said, destruction of crops due to uneven rainfall, threat from elephants and lack of educational institution in home town made us migrate to the city.

Being satisfied with the betterment of income and lifestyle post migration, Siddabasappa dreams to go back to his own village as soon his son’s education is compleated.

When being questioned on availing government’s aid during Covid crisis, he said, Neither him nor did any of his peer groups availed the government aid. According to Siddabasappa, aid from their factory side, is what they expected but to no avail.

Answering how she looks after the house post hike in prices when the income is still constant, Sujatha said, We have no other choice than taking a debt and that is how life proceeds these days.

Siddabasappa also complained the lack of Provident Fund facilities and the discrimination being done on the same.

Valerian Dalmaida and Kiran englightened Siddabasappa on funds like PF and ESI and emphasised him to fight for his right on this Constitutional Day.

Lecturer at Loyola College, Father Francis Almaida made a appearence in the session and said, The garment industry has gained significance post industrial revolution but currently due to the lack of factory unions, the labourers here have not been able to avail the required facilities. Over time work and meagre salary system is still prevailing in our country complained him.

Dr. Kumaraswamy Bijjihalli, Head of the Kannada Department in Loyola College, Bengaluru said that Subalterns is a wonderful programme. Loyola College has many students who belong to such marginalised families. Our college gives admissions to the students of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Ahinda and all the marginalised communities. We are very happy that NewsKarnataka has come forward and given a platform to express their woes.

Answering Valerian Dalmaida’s question on the Boon of industrial revolution and the demon face of the same, he said, Indeed, it is partially true that Industrial revolution have brought Socio-economic and cultural changes. But at the same time, if the revolution is emphathised in the shoes of factory labourers we can see a different face.

He also recollected Dr. B. R Ambedkar’s works like Labour Women’s Act, Maternary benefit, PF scheme towards the benift of labourers. He said, If the governments implement the ideas and thought process of Ambedkar for the development of labour class, it can surely result as a magical change in the economy of the country.

Dr. Rajesh, Head Of Department of Commerce, Loyola College, made his presence and put forth his words as a part of Constitutional day celebration. He said, We lack constitional experts in our country. And the ones who possess the knowledge do not wish to share it. And so we need to create an environment wherein not only Constitution but also Constitutional debates are read and understood.

Siddabasappa and family expressed their words of gratitude to team NewsKarnataka

Valerian Dalmaida put forth the idea of initiating a constituional debate comprehension programme with the students. Kiran Nirkan expressing the words of gratitude concluded the programme.

Sumayya Parveen A.

Sumayya is a Journalism, Eng. Literature and History Graduate & IAS Aspirant. She is also a budding writer and poetess.

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