IS POULTRY DEPENDANT ON BONDED LABOUR!!!

There was an incident reported that 20 people were forcibly employed in a poultry farm near Attur. The unit was raided by team led by revenue and police officials. The raids come in the light of the recent meeting between an official team from Chattisgarh and Collector K. Maharabushanam.

The AtturRevenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and police began the raid and rescued around 18 people in the operation working in two poultry units in Namakkal and they all were from Chattisgarh. All the people were sent for medical examination. The bonded labourers from Chattisgarh and were freed by authorities from two poultry farms.

A team headed by Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), K. Kalimuthu and Tehsildar, P.Sukumar; conducted surprise checks at two poultry farms in Kuppanpalayam and R. Pudupatti and rescued the workers.

As the action to save bonded labourers were going on in Salem and Namakkal, around 19 child labourers in the age of 10 to 15 years were also rescued from Puthur fish market by labour department officials in Trichy and rescued children have been sent to Child Line Care.

“Inquiries confirmed that the rescued workers were working under bonded conditions. There was prima facie evidence to prove the firms had violated the Bond Labourers Act. We have also consulted experts to ascertain the same and have declared them bonded laborers,” said Jayachandran.

Question arises, as why our poultry industry is dependant totally on this type of labour?
There may be two or three reasons behind this issue.
- Lack of availability of skilled manpower in this industry;
- Poultry workers working under heavy debtsfrom Poultry Unit owner OR
- The Poultry Unit Owners pay heavily in the initial stages and then make him or her pressurize for their survival permanently in their units only.

There are some private institutions in our country run by big giants likeVenky's Group and others. They are training manpower to become Supervisors, Managers in the poultry farms. But this is not feeding the stomach of the industry.
Demand and supply gap is much bigger.
On the Govedrnment front, Central Poultry Development Organization's (CPDO) are working in this sector to give practical training to become independent sector to give practical training to become independent entrepreneurs or they can take jobs in poultry farms.

Even some Pharma companies including Varsha Group is working in this subject with much enthusiasm to prepare the manpower. But still a lot is needed for this industry and collective efforts are required to fill the gap of demand and supply of skilled workers.

There is a huge gap of skilled workers in this industry and that is the major reason for keeping the labour with them as bonded with one reason or the other for their sole benefits.

The Animal Husbandry Department of Ministry of Agriculture should come out in support of skilled workers issue and make bigger programs providing them full-fledged training atleast in the poultry hub sectors of the country.

It has been observed that there is a scarcity of senior level also and the newly veterinarians joining one unit and within a short span of time, while switching over from one unit to other, they receive promotions, good pay packages and leave the parent companies from where they start their careers.

That may be the reason for the poultry farm owners to keep the labour under pressure otherwise in the absence of these skilled workers too, the whole system of working of the farm will collapse and in that case the unit owners would be the biggest sufferers.

The Animal Husbandry department of Ministry of Agriculture should issue license to private entrepreneurs or the big poultry giants to come forward and open institutes to train maximum number of workers, newly entrants or already working in units so that the level of senior or junior could be abolished.

If this system is being adopted and implemented, then a time will come, there would be plenty of skilled manforce and the system of keeping the workers under bonded pressure would automatically reduce as availability of workers at large has proved beneficial for poultry unit owners.

Only then, we could be in a position to remove this “Bonded Labour” word from the dictionary which is a blot on our faces.

Let Us pledge to do the best to eradicate this menace!!!!!!!

RAKESH BHARDWAJ





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