Beedi Federation district unit Secretary Balakrishna Shetty said the Union government has pushed the beedi workers into trouble.
He was speaking at a programme organised to enrol names of the beedi workers at Someshwar Gram Panchayat to provide alternative jobs on Wednesday. Shetty said the workers will be on streets, if they are not provided alternative jobs.
“Tobacco has been banned in the country.Many labourers lost their because of the ban on tobacco. The Union government has not provided any alternative jobs for them,” he charged.
He said Someshwar Gram Panchayat, the largest Gram Panchayat, has thousands of labourers. A memorandum has been submitted to the State government after conducting a survey. There is no ban on tobacco in America, Britain and France. But, India has neglected the interests of labourers, he alleged.
The beedi workers also staged a protest on the occasion. The ban on beedi industry will make lakhs of beedi workers unemployed. Hence, the local panchayats and town panchayats should conduct a census of beedi workers and should submit a report to the government, the protesters said. They also submitted a memorandum to Someshwar Gram Panchayat President Rajesh Ucchil in this regard.
Kotekar Circle Beedi Labour Union President Padmavathi S Shetty, Secretary Jayanth Naik, Vice President Sundar Kumpala, Someshwar Panchayat member Nalini Pilar and others were present. A rally was taken from Kotekar to Someshwar Panchayat premises. The programme was organised by Kotekar Circle Beedi Labour Union and CITU.