Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Friday, June 4, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Sewa Samaprpan Sansthan has planned to organize medical camps in all villages of Sonebhadra district through Sewa Kunj Ashram, Chapki as its nodal centre. Details you may see here:
At the time medical camps on daily basis are organized at different villages. Bhabhani, Kachnarawa and Nagvan blocks are being covered these days. Bhabhani is being coordinated by doctors from local hospitals. Ashram Chikitsa Pramuk Dr. Suman Lal is heading Kachanarvan block and Nagvan block is being taken care by doctors from Varanasi.
Villagers are avoiding any medical camps etc organized by government with the fear of getting vaccinated. They are also not taking Corona disease seriously. At one hand they are unable to reach Robertsganj Covid Centre and on the other hand they have apprehensions towards Covid and vaccination. But as they are recognizing Ashram team, they come and take medicines. Meanwhile, the team make them aware about the disease and removes apprehensions towards vaccination.
As it might cost to take patients to Robrtsganj about Rs 50000 through private means due to this situation, Ashram is in process of developing Isolation Center at Ashram. District CMO has promised to extend help by sending doctors once or twice a week. Serious patients will be taken to Robertsganj by Ashram ambulances also.
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Sunday, January 3, 2021
Experts commenting on the budget each year use words like ‘pro-corporate’, ‘urban centric’, ‘pro-farmer’ or ‘rural focussed’ based on the allocations made or their own preferences. Some of the other common expressions that have been used to describe the union budget are words like ‘middle-class friendly’, ‘social sector inclined’, ‘taxation heavy’, and ‘election year budget’. In a year that is still seeing COVID ravaging the world, one can expect now to see a ‘COVID response’ in the budget. Whether it is increased spending on health care and vaccines, or stimulating the failing economy – the budget is expected to reflect the concerns of the government in managing both the COVID pandemic and its social & economic fallout. Another possibility is the political need to reflect the concerns of the protesting farmers while keeping in mind the need for additional defence spending considering the growing Chinese threat.
From this perspective, one also hopes that the Prime Minister’s oft repeated vision of making India self-reliant (Atmanirbhar), enabling a $5 trillion economy and making India a scientific superpower are also kept in mind. Programs like Ayushman Bharat, UDAN, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Atal Innovation Mission and ‘Make in India’ are just beginning to show encouraging response and need continued support.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
People who are associated with employee associations and unions are hot blooded creatures in general. Specially leaders are always in talks and they kept sharing agendas. Whenever they are finding someone acting as his opponent, they start attacking on him bringing even his personal matters. In general, I maintain good relations with all, as I have my own agenda of asking for contributions for some cause. But, I also maintain to speak right things whenever I have to take some stand. Leader of association kept meeting with me and kept sharing lots of things as he knew that I had good hold on my batch-mates and many employees due to my social involvement. Once he started attacking a new employee, who seemed very emphatic and emerged as leader for new employees. Meanwhile he brought his wife who was running the organization were not good as they kept meeting some senior officials who were not in good light. He criticized his social activities. At that time, I immediately opposed him and countered, please do not attack anyone who was involved in social activities. Anyone who are involved in social activities are part of social community and it is my moral ground to defend them till I get enough evidence against them. Many people used to attack Dayanand Mishraji, that he used to personally benefit because of social work. I used to defend them that if you were sure that he was getting personal benefits, then as social activities were open place, you should have involved in that and would have availed benefit.
Anyway Prayas, ek nayi shuruat had caused some harm to me. Under the leadership of training center head, we organized entrepreneurship program for housewives so that they might get some job to use their talents. Meanwhile, these ladies were also made to get associated with some faculty to seek job. Not moving much ahead in that line, they suddenly entered in social activities in very natural ways. There were really adventurous. Anyway they gave presentation to some senior authorities and on their suggestions they started Prayas, ek nayi shuruat. They were unaware of cunningness of some senior officials, who wanted to discredit me from my activities of Prayas. Anyway in locality my name expended as many people started calling me that they had extended help to my Prayas Team for social activities like giving carpet, chairs etc.
Anyway I sensed the cunningness and hence thought of renaming my group activities. After many days of deliberation, we zeroed at NDRS. But that name caused problem to some authorities and hence I again started looking for some friendly name. While teaching children about Vivekananda and his Ramakrishna Mission, I zeroed on Navodaya Mission.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Then why do we see hundreds of migrants on television screens complaining bitterly about staying hungry? Why did the Supreme Court have to advise one ration card for all during the lockdown? Is there a difference between slum dwellers and migrants? Seasonal or permanent? Settled or stranded? To understand this, one has to see the constitutional provisions and policies governing the political economy. The latter endure migrants for economic reasons without amalgamating them under the state’s food safety nets.
According to the Constitution, urban development is the responsibility of municipal governments and the management of migration is one facet of that.
In administering welfare schemes, migrants are not equated with state residents, be it the regulation of minimum wages, housing, and political participation. A World Bank study has referred to “migrant unfriendly policies” that prevail throughout the country. Every state maintains reservation in government jobs and higher education, targets foodgrain distribution and provides social welfare essentially for the state’s own residents. Nurturing migrants is considered suicidal as it upsets the local residents who assert first claim on benefits, the Marathi Manoos syndrome being a case in point.
While migrants can access hospitals and receive treatment, this has never extended to habitation. On first arrival new migrants just try and get enough room to sleep. Eventually, after years, they might negotiate an address to show continuity of stay, which alone can enable them to get an election card and a ration card. For decades, they have travelled to the cities — a thousand migrants disembark just at Old Delhi railway station every day. Initially, they depend on mama-chacha networks while scouting for work. After years, they fetch the family. Seasonal workers are different, as they often come as a family. Many were left stranded after the lockdown.
Successive chief ministers have treated migrants as “not our problem”. Most migrants would be having ration cards in their home states but these are not transferable. Only when elections are on the horizon are they facilitated in getting a local Pehchan Patra (election card) and a ration card. But until those documents are acquired (or procured), they remain outside the welfare net.
During the COVID pandemic, the media has highlighted a situation no welfare state can afford to turn away from much longer. Turning a Nelson’s eye to the arrival of migrants and letting them rough it out on their own can contribute to unmanageable health hazards putting entire populations at risk. Permitting the vicious cycle of slums and squalor has shown how infection can permeate into dense populations. If COVID has not taught this lesson, nothing will. The states must now start to register every migrant. Only regular head counts will enable a correct measure of the entitlements.
A key piece of legislation governing inter-state migrants in India is the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. The Act was enacted to prevent the exploitation of inter-state migrant workmen by contractors, and to ensure fair and decent conditions of employment. The law requires all establishments hiring inter-state migrants to be registered, and contractors who recruit such workmen be licensed. Contractors are obligated to provide details of all workmen to the relevant authority. Migrant workmen are entitled to wages similar to other workmen, displacement allowance, journey allowance, and payment of wages during the period of journey. Contractors are also required to ensure regular payment, non-discrimination, provisioning of suitable accommodation, free medical facilities and protective clothing for the workmen.
The primary reason for this seems to be the onerous compliance requirements set out in the law. It not only requires equal pay for inter-state workmen, but also requires other social protection that would make their employment significantly more expensive than intra-state workmen. This includes the payments of different allowances, and requirements that contractors provide accommodation and healthcare for such workmen.
Not only does this raise questions about the utility of such well-meaning but impractical laws, it also highlights the lack of state capacity to enforce such provisions. To implement this law alone, government inspectors would not only have to maintain records of inter-state workmen, but also verify whether all the other requirements regarding wages, allowances, accommodation and health care are complied with.
The issues with the law and its non-enforcement are symptomatic of the socialist era, when the mere enactment of a law with aspirational requirements backed by legal coercion was considered adequate for creating good outcomes. This law, and many other labour-welfare legislation never considered issues like compliance costs, government capacity for enforcement, and importantly, counter-productive consequences. For example, the onerous requirements set out in this law incentivise contractors and employers to under-report inter-state workmen rather than to register them.
One of the lessons from this episode is to not let aspirational requirements become a hindrance to the effective protection of the very groups these requirements are designed for. This will require a principled distinction between formalisation and ostensible social-welfare. While the former seeks to make people or activities visible or “legible”, the latter goes a step further. Social-welfare protections are predicated upon formalisation, but non-compliance with onerous social welfare requirements can instead inhibit formalisation. This is not merely because of high compliance costs, but also because the state can barely keep up with the task of ensuring compliance with such requirements, made worse given the disincentives to comply.