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80,000 quarry workers voice demands

May, 14 2007


India -- The second State-level meet of stone quarry workers on Sunday morning saw quarry workers making vociferous demands seeking ration cards for BPL families, Public Distribution Shops (PDS), safe and adequate drinking water supply, health facilities, one guntha land for each quarry worker and utilisation of the mine development fund for the welfare of the quarry workers. The meet was held at Netaji Subhashchandra Bose school ground in Yerawada. Noted Gandhian Bhai Vaidya in his presidential address threatened a mass agitation if the demands of the workers were not met with by the government. He said, “ The quarry workers toil day and night in scorching heat and adverse climatic condition for the cause of the society but what do they get in return. Their demands are simple and can met with easily by the government,” Vaidya said. Co-coordinator of the meet Advocate BM Rege said government officials stall development works for the quarry workers on flimsy grounds. He said, “Quarry workers are leading a miserable life and being made to run from pillar to post for small work at the government offices.The government should make efforts for the holistic development of the quarry workers which it is not doing.” Demanding speedier implementation of the welfare scheme for the workers, corporator Siddhartha Dhende urged quarry workers to mobilise themselves in an organised manner to fight for their legitimate rights. Also present on the occasion were social activists Baba Adhav, MLC Ulhas Pawar and Bapusaheb Pathare. Over 80,000 quarry workers from different parts of the State participated in the conference.

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