Shillong, July 23: The National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) has expressed solidarity with social activist Angela Rangad, who has been demonstrating in front of the Main Secretariat in the city.
In a statement issued on Friday, NAPM said the state government’s inaction prompted Rangad to protest.
“The struggle to ensure the distribution of the Rs. 52 crores promised in March 2020 under the Chief Minister’s Relief Against Wage Loss (CRAWL) has gone on for over a year, with the involvement of Thma u Rangli (TUR), the collective which Angela is part of. The financial assistance was intended to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on unorganized sector workers like domestic workers, street vendors, and daily wager workers.
“In spite of prior demands by TUR, and other organizations, it is alleged that the Govt. of Meghalaya has refused to take action and make available the financial assistance that the workers are entitled to. Unsurprisingly, the Govt. is more preoccupied with ensuring the well-being of the rich, leaving the working classes to suffer the impact of loss of livelihood sources and access to food, healthcare and shelter,” NAPM said.
NAPM also demanded that the state government take immediate action to ensure registration of unorganised sector workers under CRAWL and releasing Rs 2,100 immediately to all; release Rs 5,000 to all labourers registered under the Meghalaya Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board; and ensure 200 person-days’ work under NREGA annually with Rs 600/day wage.
The organisation also supported the TUR’s demand to consolidate the MLA fund for the year to support the families of unorganised sector workers, with financial assistance of Rs 5,000 in two instalments. It suggested utilisation of 20% salaries of Class I and tax refunds for IAS and IPS officers to cover out of pocket expenses for Covid-affected working class people during the pandemic.