As part of the nationwide campaign demanding work and food for the poor in the villages, thousands of women from Self Help Group under a Jesuit social action forum are on a march through the villages of West Bengal.
The march called ‘Thala Bajao Andolan’ (beating the empty plates) concludes Feb.9. A social action wing of Jesuit’s Calcutta Province, Udayani (awakening), organized it.
“Let the sound of our empty plates rock the villages and panchayat,” said Sujata Chiti, a women leader while addressing a a gathering of hundreds from Bishnupur block of West Bengal.
The marchers shouted slogans such as “Give every hand work and every plate food” as the marched demanding immediate job under federal government’s MNREGA, commonly known as 100days work scheme.
Organizer Jesuit Father Irudaya Jothi said poor in the the remote villages of Bengal have no work and no money and the much hyped government scheme is not implemented properly and even those who got a few days work a couple of months back, have not received their wages yet.
Meanwhile, the budget of 2017 – 2018 presented by the Finance Minister on has completely failed to respond to the present situation. The allocation for MGNREGA in the budget as highest ever but it is misleading, organizers said in a press release.
“The budget therefore fails to ensure food security of tens of lacs of poor migrant labors who have been adversely affected by the demonetization exercise. By allocating 48000 crores and projecting this as highest ever the Finance Minister has misled the nation,” it said.
The march is a reaction of poor women to the several misleading facts presented in the union budget, the press note said.
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