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.

Wealth from waste

Kudos to ITC Limited and Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC) for their effort to make Coimbatore city garbage-free. With the cooperation of RAAC, ITC Limited will buy all paper waste and plastic bags from residents in the city. They will provide boxes to houses to store recyclable waste (without contamination from kitchen waste). The waste will fetch the houses about Rs. 4 to 6 a kilogram. One hopes the company will start similar programmes in other cities where garbage abounds. V.S.

Venkatavaradan,

Salem.

Wanted: railway station

Coimbatore, ‘Manchester of South India’, contributes a lot to the economic growth of our country. There are many industries, educational institutions and hospitals near Hope College. Many businessmen, merchants, professionals, students and patients depend on train for travel but the Hope College area does not have a railway station.

The gateway to the newly-developing IT corridor is Avanashi Road at Hope College. There is a bus stand at Singanallur near Hope College. If a railway station is commissioned and if all trains stop there at least for a minute then it will be beneficial to all.

S. Deva Arul,

Coimbatore.

School admission woes

I should like to share a horrible experience I had when I went for admission to plus one class in a prestigious school in Coimbatore. Confusion began from the time of the issuance of the application form. I had been informed that the applications would be issued before a week of the publication of SSLC results. But that was not to be. The school authorities started issuing applications only on May 30. Though the school has a fully computerised office officials were making cash bills manually. Only two counters were functioning, one for their own students and the other for those from other schools. After standing in the queue for more than three hours, we were told by an attender that all applications were exhausted and that further applications would not be issued. After issuing more than 150 applications the principal said students from the school would be given preference. If we had been informed earlier most of the parents would not have gone to the school to buy application forms. There was uncertainty over the fate of the students from other schools. Later at 3.30 p.m. the principal said students from other schools should wait till June 4 to know the status of their applications. All this happened because of a communication gap.

R.G. Palan,

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

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