Kendu leaf pluckers stage demonstration protesting government policies

Nuapada: Hundreds of kendu leaf pluckers under the aegis of kendu leaf workers union on Monday staged demonstration in Nuapada protesting wrong policies of the Odisha government.

Demanding fulfilment of a four-point charter of demands, the kendu leaf pluckers took out a rally as part of a mega convention held at Sansruktik Rangmach.

The agitators have demanded abolition of Goods and Services Tax (GST), hike in bonus, pension, permission to pluck kendu leaves from inside Sunabeda Sanctuary and rights over forest produce.

“Nearly 10 lakh pluckers and 7 lakh women engaged in bidi manufacturing are directly affected due to imposition of GST, which has led to a decline in sales,” said kendu leaf workers union secretary, Jogendra Nath Tripathy.

Jadumani Tripathy, another office bearer of the union stated that they want 150 percent bonus for kendu leaf pluckers, 50 per cent for seasonal workers and pension for all engaged in the business.

The union submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Odisha Governor through the district collector.

“We have received the memorandum and would forward it to the State government for necessary action,” said Nuapada Collector, Poma Tudu.