Migrant workers demand political commitment from the parties in coming elections

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Bhubaneswar: The issues of migrant & bonded labourers always remain invisible to all political parties and eventually they get deprived of various government programmes and entitlements. With the 2019 general and assembly elections fast approaching, the migrant labourers, rescued bonded labourers, slum dwellers, domestic workers and daily wage earners etc called for a more concrete political commitment from the political parties in a consultation organised Western Odisha Migration Network (WOMN) and Aide et Action on 18th February at Bhubaneswar.
Through this consultation the migrant labourers of Odisha united to voice their demands so that they can receive political commitments from the political parties in their party manifestos.
The upcoming election is an opportunity before the migrant labourers who can bring together their experiences and demand for political commitment to hold the parties accountable said Mr Umi Daniel, Director – Migration Education of Aide et Action South Asia.
Purushottam Jal a legally released migrant bonded labourer and member of Dadan Goti Suraksha Manch of Balangir said the political parties should commit to prevent distress migration and facilitate safe migration.Representing the slum dewellers, Phulamani Patra of Anasangathita Sramik Macha urged to fixation of wage rate of domestic workers and provide basic facilities at the labour addas especially toilet for women workers. Migrant workers
Women rights activists Sneha Mishra and Lalita Mishal highlighted pre-departure training for women migrant workers should be given priority in the party maifestos. Urban planner Dr Piyush Rout highlighted the issue of affordable housing for migrant workers as one of the demands. Representing Odisha Goti Mukti Andolan Baghambar Pattnaik highlighted the plight of bonded labourers in traditional vocations and demanded immediate survey and release under Bonded Labour System Abolition Act.
The convenor of Western Odisha Migration Network (WOMN), Advocate Gourishyam Panda held that this effort of WOMN to provide a platform to migrant labourers to make their voices heard in political parties’ manifesto.
It was decided that a comprehensive demand for the central and regional political parties will be submitted to ensure political commitment from them prior to the election.

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