On 10th May, diverse organisations held a rally from the Panchayat Committee office to the Sub Divisional Office (SDO) in Nohar city, Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. The rally demonstrated solidarity with MGNREGA contract workers who were protesting in front of the Panchayat Committee office.
The rally was organized under the banner of the All Rajasthan State Joint Workers’ Federation (Akhil Rajasthan Sanyukt Karmachari Mahasangh). Similar rallies were held in front of Panchayat Committee offices in the entire region.
The rally resounded with slogans denouncing the state government and turned into a demonstration on reaching the SDO. Representatives from many organisations addressed the protestors and demanded that MGNREGA contract workers be regularised. They clearly said that the state government is exploiting MGNREGA contract workers.
The speakers included – Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Vice President, All India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, Dharampal Dhil, District Head of the Sarpanch Association, Bahadur Ram Goswami, District Head of the Congress Teachers Cell, Amar Singh Saharan, Regional Head, Farmers’ Supervisory Association, Begraj Khoth, Teachers’ Association and Rakesh Dixit, Gram Vikas Adhikari Sangh among others.
At the end of the demonstration, workers’ organisations handed over a list of names to the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) addressed to the Chief Minister. MGNREGA workers warned that they will escalate their struggle if their demands were not met.
It is worth noting that in 2013, under the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the government created 24,000 job posts. But until now, only about 7,000 of these posts have been filled. Thousands of remaining workers have been hired on a contract basis. These contract workers have been fighting for one and a half years for regularisation of their jobs!