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Nirupama Sekhri

Listener of Small Voices | Posted on |

Protesting Anti-People Policies


Focus on Ground Realities

The Government presented an anti-people budget, and a two-day platform by a network of 300 organisations deliberated in Jantar-Mantar on how to reclaim full citizenship and state guarantees, along with state laws and policies that are inclusive and non-discriminatory

Protesting Anti-People Policies Musaddi Lal, always carries his 'friend' his little weaving box - ''You can listen and keep working,''

''In the present context of CAA/NPR/NRC, the sectarian violence in Delhi, declining budgetary allocations, anti-people policies and erosion of citizenship, the two day Jan Sabha on 5th and 6th March, 2020, is a demonstration of unity and determination of people’s movement to resist the assault on constitutional and citizenship rights,” said Nikhil Dey, prominent social activist.

He was joined by members from a broad-based alliance of 30 networks representing 300 organizations that had come together last year in April 2019, prior to the national elections, to place people’s issues at the centre of public discourse.

The same networks and organizations came together, once again, to express their concern over the attack/assault on the constitutional and citizenship rights.

Speaking on behalf of grassroots struggles, Karulal Kothad, Dungarpur, said that, ''Files do not move even after five years of filing applications under Forest Rights Act. Neither individual nor community forest rights are being given. Mining is a major cause of concern as it is affecting our day to day life. Land has become barren, blasts have caused dust storms, animals and people are dying, water table is depleting. Cities are being made beautiful at the cost of resources from villages.”

Devaram and Tulsiram Devaram and Tulsiram came from Rajasthan

This sense of despair was also voiced by Noor Bhai from the madari community, and Norta Bai from Ajmer, “We are not yet included in the de-notified tribes. The Ghumantu and Madaari tribes are 10% of the Indian population. We don’t even have our basic entitlements and now we are being asked to prove our citizenship. Is it not the state responsibility to ensure that all citizens of the country are secure and get dignified life,” said Noor Bhai.

His family trained bears to perform before it became illegal in the 1970's, and he bemoans the fact that instead of skilling and training communities like his, successive governments waste time and resources on issues that have no impact on their poor quality of life.

Additionally, the current trend of hate politics is something that is even more worrying, according to the participants at the rally.

Participants Participants

“My heartfelt solidarity with survivors of horrific targeted communal violence in Delhi. We need to fight this unitedly against this hate politics. I condemn any form of violence against people and women in particular. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians, Jain and Buddhists are all one and no efforts to break this will be successful,” stressed Nortabai Mitr Ranjan, another participant.

The Network's press release, outlines some worrying figures that should be addressed on priority by the Government, that include:

 Food subsidy allocation dropped by Rs. 68, 650 Crore

 Fertilizer subsidy by Rs. 8,688 Crore

 Rural Development Ministry by Rs. 2121 Crore

 MG-NREGA by Rs. 9500 Crore and can now only provide 19 days of work to all job-card holding families

 Rs.4195 Crore for wages and Rs 6030 Crore for material payment is pending from the government

 India lost 1.5 Crore jobs in the last two years and 50 lakhs due to demonetization

 Unemployment rate is highest in 45 years at 7.7%

 11.56 Crore of educated youth between ages 15-29 are unemployed

 88 lakh women, mostly working in the informal sector, have lost jobs in the last five years

 Consumption expenditure accounting for 57% of GDP, consumption fell for the first time in 40 years

 6% of expenditure on Beti Bachao was for only publicity

 Flow of credit to commercial sector declined from Rs.7.36 Lakh Crores to 90,955 Crore in 2019-20

 Non-performing asset increased from Rs. 2.51 Lakh Crores in 2014 to Rs. 10.35 Lakh Crores in 2018

 Agricultural growth declined from 3.37% (2004-‘14) to 2.7% (2014-‘19)

 PM Matru Vandana Yojana (PM-MVY) –NDA cut maternity benefits from Rs. 6000 guaranteed under National Food Security Act (NFSA) to Rs. 5,000 under PM-MVY

 Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan –Allocations cut from Rs. 2100 Crores (2019-’20) too Rs. 300 Crores (2020-’21)

 One-Stop Centre + Nirbhaya Helpline –Allocation has been slashed by 50% from 2016 to 2019

Participants presented their woes musically