Trip to Anugul coal mines on Labour Day: A reality check

Anugul: On the occasion of International Labour Day on Sunday when most of the company employees go on a mass casual leave — OTV team visited a coal mine in Anugul to reflect on the critical aspect of life labourers lived on the very day.

It was a live scene in the factory for every body to see. It’s noon time at 12 PM.  The mercury was rising and everywhere spreading was scorching heat. The temperature had also risen to 40 degrees. Still for workers there were no breaks and were busy doing their work.

They had no caps to cover their heads and some of them had even no footwear to protect their feet. What they only had was scanty drinking water in a barrel.

These workers were not even protected by any insurance or no social protection schemes of the Centre or the State applied to them. In fact, if they were victimized in any accident in the workplace, compensation or help would be hard to come by.

Moreover, while the workers were initially given the assurance of 26 work days; what they currently got was only 15 work days. They were even deprived of the benefits they used to avail earlier.

The fact remains as, over six thousand workers are currently employed in various coal factories in the district and are toiling hard to eke out their daily living. 

When OTV Team approached the Enforcement Officer of the Labour and Employment Ministry — to know about the steps the ministry is taking; it ended up with a constantly touring officer who is in charge of four districts.