Mass influx of Bengali labourers
- Jisha G. Nair
Story Dated: Friday, February 15, 2013 20:1 hrs IST
Kottayam: Labourers from West Bengal were brought to the state by contractors. This trend began to change slowly when those who are on vacation to their home state started bringing their friends from their native village. Efforts for registering these workers have failed as it is very difficult to enroll all the workers.
However, the state government has ordered a study on the migrant labourers in Kerala. Addressing to the State Assembly on Feb 15, 2013, Shibu Baby John, Labour Minister, informed that a population of 25 lakhs workers are in Kerala at present.
The workers mainly from North Indian states and North-Eastern states are attracted by the peaceful situation prevailing in Kerala. " I love the climate and food in Kerala. More over, I earn a decent wage from here," Uday, a worker from West Bengal, said.
Belonging to working class families with poor educational and social background, they arrive in second class coaches and unreserved general coaches of inbound trains, sometimes ticket less.
Sources in the Railways said that most of the other state labourers go back to their native places on Saturdays and Sundays. "They mainly travel by Thiruvananthapuram-Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram-Howrah express trains in general compartment," Station Master of Kottayam Railway station said.