Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019
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Kerala Samrakshana Jathas Conclude

N S Sajith

IT was a roaring crowd. They vowed to protect the state from the challenges posed by the communal forces. The crowd vehemently warned the Modi government of its anti-people and pro-corporate policies. Thousands of men and women from all ages and different walks of life gathered in the historical Thekkinkadu Maidan in Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala, to mark the culmination of Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s two Kerala Samrakshana Jathas led by the CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.
 
Workers, peasants, women, youth and students mainly from Thrissur district were among the mammoth crowd. The jathas whichbegan from Trivandrum and Kasargode and culminated in Thrissur, raised the slogans of ‘Oust BJP and Save the Country’, ‘Development, peace, social progress’ and ‘Left is the people's front’.
 
Braving the scorching heat, small jathas from different parts of Thrissur reached the city to mark the historic public meeting. LDF district convener K Radhakrishnan greeted both leaders of the jathas and C N Jayadevan, MP, presided over the meeting.
 
While inaugurating the public meeting, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the LDF government has led the state to a new era of progress in just thousand days. If one compares the state’s situation before and after thousand days of LDF government’s rule, the improvement is evident. Thousand days back, the state was known for the ugly stories of corruption. Today, Kerala became the least corrupt state in the country and the government will work hard to eliminate the sediments of corruption, he said.
 
Earlier, there was an impression formed that no development activities are possible in the state. The LDF government was successful in erasing that. The impediments before Kasargod- Trivandrum National Highway, Highland highway, Coastal highway have been removed and Rs 10,000 crores have been allocated for this. The first phase of Kovalam-Bakel Waterways is progressing and so is the the GAIL pipeline project. Our goal is overall development of the people. Public education sector has witnessed a sea change with 3,41,000 new students enrolled in the last two years, he said. 
 
Numerous welfare and pension schemes for unorganised workers of Kerala
 
Contrary to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that there is no pension scheme in Kerala for the unorganised sector, Kerala has many welfare and pension schemes for them. Welfare schemes for workers including toddy tappers, agriculture workers, tailors, artisans, construction workers, head load workers, cashew workers, handloom workers, shops and commercial establishment workers, beedi and cigar workers, cinema workers and bamboo workers is being implemented. The auto rickshaw workers welfare scheme, automobile workers welfare scheme, coir workers, artists welfare scheme, unorganised migrant workers scheme, Madrasa teachers welfare scheme, Kerala tree climber welfare scheme, daily wages employees distress relief fund and journalist pension scheme are also in place.
The LDF government has constituted an unorganised workers social welfare board and the Kerala unorganised retired workers pension fund scheme was also introduced in 2008.
This year’s budget has allocated Rs 2.5 crore for maternity allowance to workers in unorganised sector.
Fresh up centres and toilets in appropriate centres for benefit of unorganised sector are also being set up and it is managed by Kerala State Women Development Corporation.