The All India Farm Workers' Association urged the Centre to enhance number of working days under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to 150 days from 100 days because 100-day work will not suffice to survive, according to Hannan Mullah, All India secretary of the association.
Talking to press persons before addressing an agriculturists' meeting here on Sunday, he said that number of working days should also be increased to 200 from 100. Lakhs of farm workers had been suffering in the country in all aspects.
They did not have proper houses, water and electricity facilities.
Even 64 years after Independence, there was not a single act to protect interest of farm workers. With no jobs, farm works have been migrating from one district to another and from one state to another for survival.
Condition of women farm workers was the worst. Equal work and equal wages were still a distant dream, he added.
Several farm workers who registered under NREGS did not get even minimum wages to feed their families. Breaking all guidelines, contractors were deployed and machines used for implementing various works chosen under this scheme. Tamil Nadu was not an exception to it, Mr. Mullah alleged.
Tamil Nadu government miserably failed to execute the two-acre scheme for farm workers. Lands offered to Dalit workers were either encroached upon or under the control of the upper caste people, he alleged.
Dalits were not allowed to enjoy the benefits offered by the government, the MP pointed out.
Growth of agriculture production was just 0.2 per cent in the country but growth of population was two per cent. To eliminate food shortage, production should be increased sharply. The Central Government failed to solve problems of farmers. Only 42 per cent of farmers had received farm loan offered by the Government.
Commenting on Mullaperiyar issue, he said the dispute should be settled by the Central Government. Both state governments should work together to find a solution.
The MP announced that the association would convene its seventh national conclave on July 17, 18 and 19 in Tiruchi.