Social Security For Sugarcane Cutters

Social Security For Sugarcane Cutters

Oxfam India submitted a Sugarcane Cutters’ Charter of Demands to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The Charter talks about the basic human rights of workers such as WASH, minimum wages, health, insurance, safety, pension, and working hours. The Charter was given in the cabinet meeting on behalf of Umarga taluka MLA Gyanraj Chowghule at Mantralaya in Mumbai on 21 September 2022. Our teams will now follow up on the actions taken by the ministry on our Charter.

In Dharashiv (erstwhile Osmanabad) and Beed districts, as the cutters prepare for migration, our teams are organising and mobilising sugarcane cutters on their rights, building their capacity, and doing grassroots advocacy around government schemes and benefits, sugarcane workers’ rights, women’s rights, children's education, and girls’ education, among other things. We have held meetings in 25 villages in the two districts.

Before the cutters head out, our teams are also collecting data such as the name of their mukadam (contractor), size of the group or toli, place of migration, sugar factory, and advance wages and loans. We are also helping workers to register their name with the Sugarcane Cutter Corporation so that they are able to avail benefits of the various schemes important for their development. We are also conducting awareness programmes at the village level to register their name in the Gram Panchayat record before they migrate.

In the Beed district, our team ensured the cutters were registered with the Corporation by advocating and the linking the Gram Panchayat with the former. In the last week of September, roughly 1500 workers registered with the Corporation in 20 villages in the district. They will now be issued identity cards before they migrate.

We also managed to insure over 40 cutters in seven villages in Lohana block in Dharashiv district. Additionally, five WhatsApp groups of cutters (with smartphones) have been made to build a support system at the destination level, disseminate information, and communicate with our organised sugarcane cutters from the Oxfam India field area. 

After the news of forced hysterectomy of women cutters broke, the state government issued a GR (Government Resolution) for health check ups of cutters pre- and post-migration. We are planning to hold health camps in line with the GR.

📢Oxfam India is now on Telegram. Click here to join our Telegram channel and stay tuned to the latest updates and insights on social and development issues. 

 


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