for Unorganized Sector Workers

Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer
Baba Adhav
Working President
S. Bhatnagar
Correspondence Address:
B-19, Subhavna Niketan
Pitampura, Delhi-110034
Phones: 91-11-27013523, 27022243
Mobile: 9810810365
E-mail: ncccl@vsnl.net
R. Venkataramani
Sr. Advocate- Supreme Court
Geetha R.
South Regional


Date: 17th June 2005

Dear Friends,

This circular is about the National Rally of Unorganised Sector Workers to the Parliament held on 5th May' 2005. About 20,000 workers from different segments of Unorganised Sector Workers from twelve States, mostly from outside Delhi, participated in this Rally. The main objective of this Rally was to submit a Petition to the Petition Committee of Lok Sabha demanding a comprehensive Legislation for providing Social security and Labour Welfare for the 370 million workers of the Unorganised Sector.

After organising various meetings in North and South to reach a consensus on crucial aspects of a comprehensive legislation for Social Security for Unorganised Sector Worker the NCC-USW had organised a signature campaign throughout the country through its constituents. Over ten lakh signatures were collected during March-April-May 2005, which were submitted to the Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri. Somnath Chatterjee by a delegation of the National Campaign Committee for Unorganized Sector Workers (NCC-USW).

This delegation of NCC-USW was led by the Chairperson of the Reception Committee, Prof. Madhu Dhandevate. Two Members of Parliament, Shri M. P. Virenderkumar of Janta Dal (Secular) and Shri Ramjilal Suman of Samajwadi Party countersigned the Petition as per rules No. 164 related to the Committee on Petition. Both of them have been the Labour Ministers of the Union Government. The delegation included Working President of NCC-USW, Baba Adhav, Swami Agnivesh of Bandhua Mukti Morcha, Subhash Bhatnagar of NCC-USW and Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, Bhawar Singh Chadhana of Astha-Udaipur, Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Sr. Escline of Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers Union, Geetha R of Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, Thomas Kochery of National Fishworkers Forums and National Alliance of Peoples Movement, Subhash Lomte of National Campaign Committee of Rural Workers, Kishore Pawar of Hind Mazdoor Sabha-Pune, Umrao Mal Purohit, General Secretary of Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Pradeep Prabhu of Kashtkari Sanghathna, T. S. Sankaran (former Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Government of India) of NCC-USW, Jai Singh of Dalit Dasata Virodhi Abhiyan - Punjab, Dr. Sunilam; MLA of Samajwadi Party from Madhya Pradesh and Anuradha Talwar of National Alliance of Agriculture Worker Unions. The Petition was also signed by Medha Patkar of NAPM and Charles Wesley of APVVV/ Dalit Social Forum.

Speaker of the Lok Sabha Shri. Somnath Chatterjee gave a patient hearing to all the delegates and assured that he would send the Petition to the Petition Committee of Lok Sabha. He further assured that he would write to the Prime Minister requesting him to look, into the matter. We have received a copy of the letter dated 10th May' 2005 from the Speaker to the Prime Minister. We have also received a communication from the Director, National Commission on Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector that the PM office had marked this letter to the Commission.

Meeting of Reception Committee and Solidarity Committees:
A joint meeting of the Reception Committee and Solidarity Committee of the 5th May 2005 Rally was held on 4th May' 2005 at V.P. House which was attended by over 50 delegates mainly from trade unions. Baba Adhav who came with the Cycle Rally from Mahad, spending fifty days through the rural areas and urban centres of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana informed the delegates about the warm reception 'The Cycle Rally' got throughout the route, the lack of awareness about the Central Government's initiative on Employment Guarantee and other programmes, situation of Unorganised Sector Workers throughout the route, the fund collected throughout the route for the Cycle Rally from common people. Shri T.S. Sankaran gave a brief description of the Bill proposed by the NCC-CL which was outlined in the Petition itself, on which over a million signatures had been collected.

Meetings on the occasion of 5th May Rally:
Due to heavy rains on 4th night the large Pandal erected at Ramlila Ground could not be used. Over five thousand outstation participants from other States got shelter at New Delhi Railway Station and Gurudwara Rakabganj. On the morning of 5th May 2005, the participants of the Rally gathered at Ramlila Ground and the meeting was addressed by former Prime Minister Shri. V.P. Singh. Then the Rally, started on its March to Parliament. The main meetings was held at Parliament Street. The two meeting were addressed by Prof. Madhu Dandavate, Veteran Socialist leader Shri Surendra Mohan, Dr. Baba Adhav, Shri. T.S. Sankaran, Republican Party of India leader & Member of Parliament Mr. Ramdas Athavale, Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament Shri Ramjilal Suman, Samajwadi Janparishad President Prof. Vinod Prasad Singh, Leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan Ms. Medha Patkar, Swami Agnivesh (Bandhwa Mukti Morcha), Thomas Kochari (NFF), Nikhil Dey (MKSS), Com Bhalchandra Kerkar (Domestic Workers Org.), Vilas Bhongade (MBLKS), Shri N.P. Samy (NCL), Shri Jaising (DDVA), Ramilaben Parmar (SEWA), Dr. Sunilam (MLA), Shri Subhash Bhatnagar, Ms. Geeta (NCC-CL), Com Suresh Gavali (Anganwadi Workers Union), Ms Anuradha Talwar (PBKMS), Shri. P.V. Rajgopal (Ekata Parishad), Shri Pannalal Surana (Socialist Front), Ms. Pratibha Shinde (P.S.S.), Prof. Subhash Ware (Rastra Seva Dal), Shri Tapeswar Bhai (NCCRW), Shri Subhash Lomte (NCCRW/ HKMS-HMS)

Prominent persons from different states who participated in the Rally were veteran socialist Shri. Bhai Vaidya, Shri Makbul Tamboli, Shri Bharat Latker (Maharashtra), Shri A.D. Nagpal, Shri R.A. Mittal, Shri Harbhajan Singh, Prof. Jean Dreze, Shri Vijay Pratap, Shri Ajit Jha, Ms. Gabriel Dedrietch (TN), Shri Shivpujanji (Bhihar), Shri Ashok Kumar (AP), Ms. Savita Bajpaye. Ms. Anuradha Bhargav (MP), Shri Bhavar Singh Chauhan, Shri Shankar Singh (Rajastan), etc.

Over 15,000 participants registered themselves at Ramlila Ground but those who reached late and joined the Rally on way or came directly to the Parliament Street could not register themselves. We would like to include the names of all those individuals and organizations who participated in the Rally in our mailing list. The addresses of many of the participants are either not complete or not readable. Therefore we request all those who are receiving this circular to share it with all others who participated in the Rally and who may not be on our mailing list, with a request that all of them should send their full mailing address, telephone and e-mail, to our office. After consolidating the list of participants of 5th May' 2005 Rally, we have to move towards forming joint action committees of different segments of Unorganised Sector Workers in each State. Only a sustained campaign of Unorganised Sector Workers can move the Petition Committee of Lok Sabha to give a positive recommendation and the Parliament to pass a really implementable legislation on social security for 370 million workers. The experience of construction workers campaigning has shown us that even after the enactment of central legislation we have to be ready with the state level efforts to get them implemented. At the present stage of campaign we need to utilize the support of Hind Mazdoor Sabha to persuade the other central trade unions also to participate in the campaign.

Another meeting was held on the evening of 5th May 05 at D. D. Vashist Education Center Hall to review the Rally and chalk out future programmes. At this meeting it over 200 participants of the Rally participated and express their determination to build up a movement of unorganized sector workers to further strengthen the campaign. The meeting mainly came out with the suggestion that during next three months we should consolidate the existing state level joint action committees of Unorganised Sector Workers and then call a National Convention so that similar joint action committees could be formed in as many other state as possible.

Reminder of Appeal for contribution to meet the Expenses of the 5th May 2005 Rally:
We are enclosing a copy of the expenses and contribution received for the 5th May' 2005 Rally. As you can see there is a deficit of over Rs. 3 lakh which has been spent by N.M.P.S. from various short term loans. We had circulated a request for Rs. 500/- contribution per organization and Rs. 50/- contribution per outstation participants to meet the Rally expenses in Delhi. Due to heavy rains on 4th May 2005 night both these amounts could not be collected. As you can see the main deficit of Rs. 2 lakh is due to single expense of accommodation and civic amenities at Ramlila Ground without we could not have managed the outstation participants on 5th and 6th mornings.

If over 150 organizations who the participated in the Rally contribute only Rs. 500/- to 1000/- each 25% of the deficit will be over and a contribution only Rs. 20 per outstation participant can clear over 90% of the deficit. We request you to please contribute as an organization and also on behalf of the participants from your organization as much as possible to meet this deficit by Cheque/DD in the name of "NATIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE FOR UNORGANZED SECTOR WORKERS" and also to meet expenses for future campaigns. We will be circulating another appeal for contribution so that this deficit does not hold us back from further campaign in the same way as it has delayed this circular.

Rozgar Adhikar Yatra:
During May - June we are involved with the Rozgar Adhikar Yatra which started form Delhi on 13th May 2005 and after traveling through Rajasthan - Gujarat- Madhaya Pradesh - Chattisgarh - Jharkhand - Bihar - Uttar Pradesh is returning Delhi on 1st July 2005. Soon after that we will start planning for next National Convention of Unorganized Sector Workers.

Plan for State Meetings and National Meeting of Unorganized Sector Workers:
We request all constituents of NCC-USW to approach all organizations of Unorganised Sector Workers around their area of activities, explain to them the proposed draft of comprehensive Social Security Legislation developed in past meetings of NCC-USW, persuade them to join the Campaign and give their suggestions for improvement and consensus building on the NCC-USW proposal.

So far we have received a proposal form Karnataka for organising a State level meeting of organizations working with unorganized sector workers in June and or July beginning. We hope that soon after monsoons similar State level meetings are organized in Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu before the next National meeting of USW.

All constituents are requested to inform us of their campaign activities during last two months.

With thanks.

  Your sincerely