Telangana

They come in droves, hoping to find a day’s work

Warangal has 286 labour addas where thousands gather daily

At the break of dawn, thousands of people from surrounding villages head to Warangal city in search of work for the day to make ends meet.

They all gather at the city corners such as Public Gardens and wait for a long time looking for prospective employers – property owners, masonry contractors and others. Many are lucky, though they are not sure of their day and the job. Some return disappointed. They all come in autorickshaws and on bicycles hurriedly in the wee hours and wait.

Raju, a resident of Pegadapally village in Hasanparthy mandal which is close to the city, says he distributes milk in the early hours and rushes to Warangal city to find work. If he is lucky, he would earn ₹400 or above for the work and sometimes may not get any work.

There are 286 labour addas (pick-up points) in erstwhile Warangal district where thousands of daily wage workers gather everyday in search of work.

The day starts for these labourers as early as 5 a.m. and ends at around 5 p.m. and even late, depending on the work.

Unaware of schemes

Often they get a raw deal – they do not have a shed to wait under and they stand in the open or under the shade of trees. Though there are schemes for their welfare, many are not aware of them.

Warangal city is growing fast with lot of construction taking place owing to its close proximity to the State capital Hyderabad and a new national highway coming up. Many now prefer the city unlike in the past. Several new colonies are coming up everywhere. As a result, around 80 labour addas have sprung up within the tri-cities – Warangal, Hanamkonda and Kazipet.

The women workers earn anywhere between ₹200 to ₹400 while men get ₹350 and above per day if they find work.

The mason team leader gets ₹800 to ₹1,000. Local MLA D Vinay Bhaskar roped in his party workers and followers to help scores of labourers get enrolled into various welfare schemes in a special drive some time ago. According to him, the break-up of registered workers with the Telangana Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (TBOCWWB) is — Warangal Urban 58,237; Warangal Rural: 26,851; Jangaon 22,090; Mahabubabad 18,390; Jayashankar-Bhupalpally (including Mulugu) 16, 376.

Ragula Ramesh, the honorary president of Telangana Building and Other Construction Workers Union Warangal district (combined), said though the government was offering various welfare schemes, over one lakh workers are not aware of it.

‘Special drives needed’

The government should conduct special drives to ensure that the construction workers benefit. “Even though the Minimum Wages Act stipulates ₹ 650 a day, not many are getting it,” he pointed out.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:15:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/they-come-in-droves-hoping-to-find-a-days-work/article30966779.ece

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