Bengal in Distress

West Bengal being the second most populated state after Bihar, has witnessed more ponderous problems than any other state in India. The immigrants from Bangladesh, under the Land Boundary Agreement in 2005, have augmented the socio-economic pressure on the West Bengal government for the provision of necessary daily utilities- food, shelter and livelihood. Industries, on the other hand, are challenged by surplus labour contrary to the constrained employment opportunities, thereby encroaching on the locally employed people. Aspiring for a proper identification and recognition, the settlers resists shifting from their houses for employment in the risk of losing their permanent settlement. The food supplies rendered to these families are far from adequate to feed the family of eight, resulting in the rise of starvation and malnutrition.

 

What appals us more is the aggravating conditions these families are bound to face every day. Are these new citizens only live to cast their vote to the candidates who visit them once in a blue moon? Are they entitled to live eternally in the anticipation of decent access of necessities? To make it worse ‘Check Posts’ at various stations regularly question their existence. Vote seekers confound these citizens with the phantasm of improved subsistence only to haunt back their real deficiencies in the survival strategy of the doubtful life.

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Moving towards the North Bengal adorned with exotic tea plantations, has suffered climatic hazards lowering down the total produce which has hexed the occupation of the workers, hence nearing their doom. The grim picture painted by the international fact-finding mission headed by the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition demarcates the immensely low levels of per capita income as the real cause of death of the tea growing farmers. The grief stricken farmers are permanently victims of hunger, malnutrition, sanitation and ultimately perish due to dysfunctional organ system and fragile heath immunity. Yet the real reasons tacit around the village and failed to appear in their death certificates. These alarming issues which have been neglected for a long while now, have disgruntled Standing Committee on Labour of the State Assembly. The research by the same unwinds that the State Government was amateurish to tackle the crisis resulting in meagre outcome.

Recalling the urban employment phenomenon, West Bengal has also suffered on the economic front of hiring activity. Where metropolitan cities are perceiving 42% of growth in hiring activity, particularly in Delhi, 30% in Hyderabad and Chennai, 25% in Bangalore, 24% in Mumbai; Kolkata astonishingly descended to 3% in April,2016 recorded in the Survey report of Naukri.com. Amidst the plight and perplexity inflicted severely upon the economic factor: labour, the total economic productivity is also declining unabatedly. The Government both at central and state, is equally responsible to volunteer their activities rapidly to administer the quandary as soon as possible. While the certain sections of Indian media seems to be bothered about the Marilyn Moment of Duchess Kate Middleton or the lipstick’s colour of a celebrity at Cannes, we wonder when national problems will be drawn at the nexus of public scrutiny and political realm!

 

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