BALANGIR: Members of several civil society organisations of the tribal-dominated district have proposed to the State Government to set up a labour exchange in Western Odisha to mediate in seasonal migration at the grassroots level.
The proposed exchange centre will register both migrant workers and employers. It will not only replace labour contractors but also streamline the labour supply from the region to outside of the State. Besides, the centre will negotiate wages and work conditions for the labourers, they said.
In order to execute the plan, the Government needs to bring a legislation or announce a scheme. The district-level labour exchange can be established to ensure social security benefits like pension, gratuity and insurance to the workers, they suggested.
Sudhir Katiyar of PRAYAS, a social organisation, said the proposed centre can replace the labour contractors with an institutional mechanism which will check the distress migration. Though the State Government machineries conduct raids to rescue workers trafficked by contractors under Inter-state Migrant Workmen Act, the move has failed to check the practice.
Sources said distress migration occurs every year from Balangir, Bargarh, Nuapada, Sonepur, Boudh, Kalahandi, and Rayagada to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh due to lack of work after kharif season. The number of migrant workers is estimated to be around two lakh.