Tribals protest against drought mismanagement

Mahim Pratap Singh

Demand lifting of wage freeze and raising the 100-day limit under the NREGS

Badwani (Madhya Pradesh): Thousands of tribals gathered in Badwani district of the State on Tuesday to protest against Government inaction over drought relief and rising food prices among other things and submitted petitions addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

The protesters, led by the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, also demanded lifting of the wage freeze, restructuring of rural minimum wage rates and raising the 100-day limit under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme along with inclusion of a “reformed” Public Distribution System (PDS) in the Right To Food Act.

The tribals accused the Government of adopting policies that pampered the rich and the corporate sector with tax subsidies while overlooking the miseries of the common man, asking the UPA Government at the Centre to honour its pre-election promise of raising the 100-day limit on the NREGS in all drought-affected districts.

They also demanded an immediate lifting of the Central Government’s freeze on NREGS wages, describing it as unjustified in a time of raging inflation, and called for price indexed statutory minimum wages to be paid.