CWG-CWC outlines programmes on social security for workers

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) The Commonwealth Games-Citizen's Initiative for Workers and Children's Rights (CWG-CWC), a network of several NGOs and workers unions, today outlined various initiatives that have been started in partnership with the Delhi government and Central government to protect the rights of workers and their children at Commonwealth Games sites here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Harsh Mander, Commissioner Supreme Court, Right to Food said, ''the government and people of Delhi have been oblivious to the plight of construction workers and their families. The government feels that their duty is only towards the middle class. This is an unhealthy trend. We have to present ourself as all-inclusive and caring towards destitutes, slum dwellers and other weaker sections of society.'' Ms Devika Singh, co-founder of Mobile Creche, said the Commonwealth Games had provided an opportunity to alleviate the conditions of workers, women and children associated with the preparation of the games. She extolled the role of Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna in supporting the initiative of CWG-CWC.

Detailing the cost of the sports extravaganza, she said, Rs 7000 crores would be the total expenditure, which in turn would create five lakh new jobs in the next three years and 50,000 to 100,000 jobs per day for unskilled construction workers. It would involve 10,000 women construction workers and 20,000 migrant children.

Mr Subhash Bhatnagar, member Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangh (NMPS), elaborated upon the the provisions of Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996 under which the construction workers were entitled to maternity benefits, compensation for accidents and illness and scholarships for their children.

The biggest challenge facing them was to spread awareness of the Construction Workers Act among the workers, motivate them to get themselves registered for it and ensure that the benefits of social security percolated down among the construction workers, he said.

Only 2266 workers had got themselves registered as against a total eight lakh construction workers in Delhi, he added.

Mr Ishwar Sharma from NMPS said that as compared to Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala, Delhi was lagging behind in providing social security to construction workers.

The speakers claimed that to provide adequate social security to construction workers and their families only 0.3 per cent of the total Commonwealth Games expenditure was needed.


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