Ensure food, health and livelihoods of the people; Also Take care of the possible grid constraints on 5th April - CITU writes to PM


The Prime Minister of India
New Delhi  

Sub: Your address to People on 3rd April 2020

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

We have been trying to draw your pointed attention to the severe problems of survival faced by the poorest sections of working people of the country, including the migrant workers following the lockdown. We have also suggested concrete urgent remedial and relief measures through our letters dated 24-3-2020 and 30-3-2020 addressed to you. All the central trade unions have also jointly represented to you on the same issues, vide letters dated 26-3-2020. The central trade unions have also written to the Union Labour Minister vide the joint letter dated 1-4-2020.

People, mainly the unorganised sector workers, migrant workers, agricultural workers and poor peasants expected that you would announce some concrete measures in your address to the nation on 3rd April. But we are sorry to state that they were totally disappointed and frustrated as you did not even acknowledge/recognise their survival issues, not to speak of announcing any ameliorative measures. The frontline health workers were highly disappointed that you were totally silent on ensuring personal protective gear and equipments for them. The country remains in the dark on the concrete measures that your government is taking to fight the Corona virus while you called upon the people to put off lights and light candles at 9.00 pm on 5th April to drive away the darkness caused by the Corona virus. We cannot but feel let down and crudely shocked at this insensitivity on the part of the highest authority in the government towards the sufferings of the poor working people of our country, who make the wheels of our country move. It is nothing but a cruel joke on the poor. We are sorry to state that your address has only conveyed the lack of seriousness on the part of your government about the serious threat posed by the Corona virus on the health of our people, the livelihood of the workers and in turn on our entire economy.

Different views are being expressed by the experts on the technical aspects of the call for countrywide switching off. The Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd has sent on 3-4-2020 itself to all its Regional Heads caution-message about possibility of grid-constraints and instability in view of your call of switching off lights on 5th April night. Federations of electricity workers and engineers also conveyed similar cautions to the Minister of Power. We request you to ascertain yourself the impact of switching off lights in all households in the country for 9 minutes, and whether that risk is worth-taking, in the interests of all concerned.  At the same time we urge upon you to please positively respond to the concrete measures demanded by the entire trade union movement to address the problems of the very survival of crores of working people including the migrant workers.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

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