Don’t want new notes? Just quit the job

Sexagenarian Surendra Rout, a construction worker at Andirasingh village in Odisha’s Ganjam district was happy that he would supplement the family income.

Published: 09th December 2016 03:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2016 09:54 AM   |  A+A-

Don

Surendra Rout at a construction site in Bhubaneswar | SHAMIM QURESHY

Express News Service

 BHUBANESWAR: When his elder son left for Surat in June to work as a contract labourer in a company, sexagenarian Surendra Rout, a construction worker at Andirasingh village in Odisha’s Ganjam district was happy that he would supplement the family income.

His happiness was short-lived. Aninda (32), who worked for nearly six months in a factory in Surat, lost his job post-demonetisation. Now, he is back home and without a job. “My son was getting Rs 8,000 a month and he was being paid in cash by his contractor. While he got his salary last month in old notes, the contractor asked him to leave the job when he refused to accept old notes this month,” said Surendra.

With Aninda sitting idle at home, the burden of the sixmember family is on Surendra, who works at a mall construction site near Vanivihar in the city. He too has been a victim of demonetisation, as he is yet to get his wages in new currency. Like others in the site, he was paid in old Rs 500 notes in November. “I had to stand in queues for nearly three hours and lost my day’s wage only to exchange the notes in a bank. This month, the contractor was asking me to take Rs 2,000 notes which I refused.

No shop is taking the big note. Where do I get smaller ones? I do not want to stand in queues again,” he said. Post demonetisation, the migrant labourers are affected the most since their families back home do not have bank accounts and they are unable to send money from their work places. While many have already left their jobs, several others have returned to their respective hometowns to open bank accounts.

Even as data available with the State Labour Department claims that around 18 lakh people migrate from Odisha every year, only 50,000 among them are registered as having bank accounts. The department does not have any record whether others have accounts. There are more than five lakh Odia migrant labourers working in Surat from Ganjam district alone, out of seven lakh labourers from the State. Other districts with high migration rates are Ganjam, Bolangir, Sundergarh, Nuapara and Koraput. The number of labourers migrating to brick kilns annually would be around 10 lakh. According to an estimate, 1.5 lakh people (parents and children) leave Bolangir district every winter on south-bound trains to work in brick kilns.

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp