AIKS & AIAWU Demand Relief Work on War Footing
THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), in a statement issued in December 2, have expressed profound grief at the death of around 200 people in continuing heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, particularly in the northern and coastal districts. The rains have broken a hundred year record for the month of November and created havoc in Chennai and other coastal cities. Houses, roads, railway stations and even the airport are submerged. Life has come to a standstill. Agricultural workers, fishermen, daily wage earners and poor farmers are most affected in this serious situation. Dwelling houses are submerged. Kharif crops are destroyed. Though it is a natural calamity, but the state and central governments seem to be unprepared to meet the situation.
This comes at a time when large areas of the country are under serious drought conditions which have not only destroyed the kharif crops but also have led to very little sowing in states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra, where we are already seeing an increase in the suicides of farmers and agricultural labourers as they are unable to pay back loans or get jobs. In Punjab, we are seeing the migration of local labour to neighbouring states after many years. But the central government has failed to move forward to protect the mass of people in the villages.
AIKS and AIAWU have demanded the central government to begin relief and rescue operations on a war footing in co-ordination with state officials and also take the assistance from the mass organisations working among different sections of people. The All India Kisan Sabha and All India Agricultural Workers Union are prepared to offer their support to all genuine schemes to give relief to the suffering peasantry and demand the doubling of funds to implement MNREGA all over the country to help relief work and provide employment immediately.