On 25th May, Indian Railway Employees' Federation (IREF)(affiliated to AICCTU) with all its affiliates in Zonal Railways and Production Units staged protests throughout Indian Railways to highlight eight demands arising out of their burning issues:
Almost one crore scheme workers all over the country shoulder the burden of implementing several important public schemes of the central government on health and education. They include ASHA workers (working under National Rural Health Mission program), Anganvadi workers (working under ICDS program) and MDM workers (working under Mid Day Meal scheme for school children). Almost 95% of the scheme workers in the country are women. These scheme workers are the backbone in ensuring basic health and nutrition to vast majority of the country’s population.
While the Modi-2 government at centre is being rightly held responsible for Corona-2 catastrophe in the country by people’s movements, the virtual collapse of India's public health care system in the face of 2nd wave has become a worrisome point. This wave of Corona pandemic has absolutely exposed the hollowness of our country’s public health care system and the criminally apathetic attitude of the ‘elected’ rulers towards the health care of common people.
This is a well-documented report that has analysed the impact of one year of Covid-19 in India, on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty. The rising inequality and loss of wages is really alarming. It says, “our analysis shows that the pandemic has further increased informality and led to a severe decline in earnings for the majority of workers resulting in a sudden increase in poverty. Women and younger workers have been disproportionately affected. Households have coped by reducing food intake, borrowing, and selling assets.