Despite there being industries, scarcity of labourers are seen in Hosanagara
Hosanagara Taluk situated in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. It does not have proper labourer facility which has led to unemployment of people in the taluk.
Local economy of Hosanagara suffers because of lack of labourers. This lack of labourers has resulted in selling the products at a later stage. The reason behind is the labourers which are available there are shifting to the mining industry as the income is more there. The average income of a labourer in the taluk is Rs.150/day, whereas the labourers in the mining are Rs. 200- Rs.250/day.
This problem is not only faced in Hosanagara but this problem across India. The main reason for facing this problem that the labourer does not have a fix job they can be dismissed any time. Their job is not permanent. A time comes when there is no job in their hands and they are looking for jobs.
“I have started my career as a farmer. In the early days of my life I used to see my father working in this farm and cultivating paddy, areca, pepper and coconut. My father used to sit and assist other labourer what work they should do. In eight acres of land there were ten to fifteen labourers that were not permanent labourers but skilled labourer. They would daily work for eight hours, my father used to pay them their daily wage and they used to come for work daily. My father could be dependent on them for the work. The labourer would not go to any other field to work unless they have completed their farming in one place. The work would be easy going and the production would be completed during the time expected. Now, the scenario has completely changed. Before I start any cultivation I have to keep in mind many things. First thing I have to keep in mind that the labourers I appoint whether they will continue their work till the cultivation is completed. This problem has arisen because labourers do not complete their work and they shift to other jobs like mining or sometimes even they go to the cities to seek different kinds of job where they get paid off well. It is difficult to get labourers and when there are two to three labourers then sometimes one or two turns up. This becomes difficult because when labourers don’t turn up the production gets delayed. This becomes very difficult. From my father’s time now also the only similarity is the labourers work for eight hours and they are daily wages but the difference is they do not keep to their promises, which becomes difficult for me.” said K. R Raghavenderrao, who is a farmer of areca, pepper, paddy and coconut.
This is not only the story of Raghavendera Rao, farmers as well as the owners in Hosanagara is facing the same problem. Lack of industries and the industries which are already set up there is no proper labourers and if there islabourerthey do not turn up.
From past four years there were six rice mill industries but the numbers of rice mills have increased by eight. But there has not been any improvement in the condition of labourers; still the number of labourers which work is two.
The industries like rice, wheat industries which are still open there are hardly one or two labourers. The industries face huge losses due to lack of labourers. As there is lack in labourers the industries cannot sell the raw products in the stipulated time which has resulted in decreasing their income as a whole.
This problem of shortage of labourers is not only found in Hosanagara taluk but adjacent taluk like Soraba, Shaikaripur face this labourer problem. Not only the problem is in Shimoga taluk but other taluk like BasavanBagewadi(Bijapur district) face this problem.
“During the peak season we require a considerate number of labourers but it becomes difficult to get labourers as the farmers who can afford to pay extra to thelabourers they pay them. But a farmer like us who cannot afford to pay them has to rely on two to three farmers which lead to delay in production. Since they are daily wage labourer when they get better work opportunity they go to that farm keeping the production incomplete. Sometimes also it happened that the production is going on and they have not come for a day as they had got a better paying option they for a day shift there. They don’t even bother to inform me. I fear that one day due to this shortage of labourers, owners like us will have to work on the field.” said B.N Dhinamani, owner of Sashikiran Oil mill.
The main reason for the discrimination of the labourers is there are differences in wages.
Other than salary problem the major problem in the industries is the dust problem which has createdlabourers to shift to mining. The dust allergies create a huge problem one of them is breathing problem.
The income of labourers’ problem is not only faced in the taluk but across the globe. But internationally where there is shortage of labourers they adopt mechanised farming as they do not have the problem of fund except for a few.
The farmers are less paid in the taluk which have resulted in increase in suicide farming in India.
According to an article in The Wire, the government has decided that by 2022 the income of the labourer will be doubled. The report also says that there has been a huge decline in the income of farmers since the production has been static for a long time.
But what about Hosanagara will the industries are benefited by the year 2022? From farming to industries the situation is same everywhere. The labourers face a crisis of salary and the owner face shortage oflabourers which has created problem. The owners of the mining and farming has come up with the conclusion that the Gram Panchayat should come up with industries so that people don’t have to go to other places in search of jobs and there can be surety of labourers in the industries.
The Government of India has come up with number of schemes for the unemployed labourer sectors. One of them is Prime Minister RojgarYojna, this scheme provides all educated and unemployed labours in helping to get a job. The clauses also includes that he must be a permanent resident of a particular place for three years and the minimum age to avail this scheme is 18 years of age.
But the situation is completely different in Hosanagara. The unemployed labourers do not have a proper job and this has led to a major problem in the taluk. The labourers are need of a permanent job. After a task is completed they are without job which becomes difficult for them.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which was introduced to give employment to rural people and ‘right to work’. But this scheme has not been fulfilled in many places and one of them is Hosanagara Taluk. The labourers are either not paid properly or there is a shortage of labourers. In Punjab it has been seen that due to shortage of labourers people had to take up mechanised farming. The blame has been resting on the MGNREGA.
In Hosanagara it has been seen that under MGNREGA scheme people who are working are not paid properly. It has been a failure in the taluk. The money gets passed through officials like the Gram Panchayat but ultimately it does not go in the hands of the labourers.
Priyachandran, one of the employees of MGNREGA said, “I have not received my salary under MNEREGA for eight months.”
The labourers of Hosanagara have complained that they are not well paid and they do not have a hike in their salary. So to get a hike in their salary they shift to mining where they are well paid off. To sustain they have to go to places where the income is better.
There is no place for industries to grow as the taluk is covered with forest area. So the industries which are there due to lack of sufficient payment they shift to the cities. There is no other option left for them.
Since there is lack of labourers and they to finish the cultivation on time the only source is to do machine cultivation. But again the problem of cost arises of machines which become impossible for the farmer to invest. If they could invest then the investment would be on labourers as manual work is better than mechanised work. Though the work done becomes faster yet the yielding is not good in mechanised farming.
But in the near future when the farmers have no other options they have to opt for mechanised farming. Many places in India have adopted mechanised farming. In the Hindu report, it is stated that many rural side has taken up mechanised farming due to lack of labourers and they do not have any other alternative. Many new experiments are carried out in order to see that which mechanism is better.
In view of Sophia Sharon, Sociology Professor of Mount Carmel College said, the urban side of Bangalore has developed with machineries whereas the rural side is still developing.
In India mechanised farming is popular. The rate of mechanised farming is 40-45 percent and it is popular in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
The other reason for shifting to mechanised farming is that to reduce human effort. Mechanised farming include use of tractor or even use of animals which will save time and help in better farming.
The pay scale of the labourers must be increased which will make Hosanagara a prospering taluk. Schemes which are brought up by the government should be implemented in a proper way.
Thus we can conclude that the problem oflabourers will be solved if Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Prime Minister RojgarYojna schemes are properly fulfilled then the industries will overcome the problem.Labourers will be there in the industries.
And probably in the near future mechanised farming will not be adopted if the problems of labourers are not solved.