Porters of ‘Anna bhagya’ demand health insurance

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rice-karnatakaBangalore, August 6, 2013: The porters involved in loading and unloading of stock as part of the State government’s ambitious ‘Anna bhagya’ scheme have demanded regularisation of their services.

Speaking to mediapersons, Karnataka Shramika Shakti president Varadarajendra said the work involves health risks and there have been several instances where the stacks of sacks have fallen on workers while unloading. The workers get little or no help from the government for their medical treatment.

“Even at this moment, one of our workers is admitted in the Bowring Hospital after he met with an accident during work.

“His medical bills have come up Rs 60,000 and all of us have chipped in to pay. We are doing government’s work, but the government does not want to acknowledge the workers’ services,” he said.

The workers, at present, get Rs six for transporting one quintal of rice between godowns.

They are also required to take the sacks of rice to the weighing scale. Sometimes, they have to walk for at least two kilometre to unload the stock.

All this involves tiring physical work and the government has failed to recognise the high risk involved in the job, workers complained. They wanted their wage to be increased to at least Rs 70 per tonne in case of loading and unloading the stock and Rs 210 per tonne when the work involves taking the stock to the weighing scale and walking the distance to unload it.

They have demanded that the government provide them with health insurance and provident fund facilities.

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