It is heartening to note that the good old Nilgiris library which seemed to be breathing its last, is getting a fresh lease of life thanks to its serving as a film-maker’s arena for a few days.

Still, it has to go a long way to regain its former glory and this calls for a membership drive and shedding of its elitist image.

P. U. Krishnan,

Udhagamandalam.

Migrants’ plight

This refers to the report on the plight of migrant workers at Erode (June 9).

The workers are from the KBK districts in Orissa.

These southern districts, home to about seven million people, are the poorest in the country. Majority of the people belong to SC and ST. Literacy and healthcare are abysmally poor. Malaria and malnutrition rule the roost.

Hardly there is any administration in the interior areas. Naxals virtually rule this belt. Aluminum and iron ore mining, NALCO, HAL, alumina plants of Vedanta and Birla and numerous hydro power projects only benefited outsiders. P. Sainath (Rural Affairs Editor, The Hindu) in his famous book Everybody Loves a Good Drought dealt with the horrible living conditions here.

In these areas, people have no work for 200-240 days during which there is no agriculture. Hence they migrate to other states for survival. The children of these migrant workers cannot go to school at Erode because they don’t know Tamil. Even if they go this year, next year their parents may move to some other state. They do not enjoy any social security like ration card etc. At the Chennai Central Railway station, you will notice very long queues of these migrant workers to board Coramandel Express. Their condition inside the unreserved compartments will be like that of the cattle carried in lorries to Kerala for slaughtering. Only their limbs are not broken.

P. Sankaranarayanan,

Erode.

Road accidents

A speeding bus from Karnataka dashed against a tempo carrying poultry hens at Kombupallam in Sathyamangalam recently. One person died on the spot and many were injured.

A speed breaker near the bridge at Kombupallam, i.e. at the junction of Mysore Trunk Road and Tippu Sultan Road, will avert accidents. A board with the legend ‘Accident-prone zone’ should be erected there. Drivers should be checked thoroughly for drunken driving.

G.N. Devaraj,

Bhavanisagar. (Readers can mail to cbereaders@thehindu.co.in with address and phone number)

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