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Social activist Baba Adhav advocates implementation of Mathadi Act in Rajasthan

Jaipur, Jul 12 (PTI) Labour organisations should strive for the implementation of the 'Mathadi Act' in Rajasthan on the lines of Maharashtra to provide various benefits to labourers in the desert state, social activist Baba Adhav said today.

Mathadi workers are those who carry loads, usually on their heads (matha), and the Mathadi boards were set up in Maharashtra to ensure fair wages were paid to them.

"Nearly two crore unorganised labourers in Rajasthan work for the railways, krishi upaj mandi, and godowns, come from rural areas. Therefore, the labour organisations should demand social security under 'Mathadi Act'," Adhav, a social activist from Maharashtra, said at a workshop here.

Citing various benefits provided to labourers under the Mathadi law such as bonus, provident fund and compensation for the losses, Adhav said the law should be implemented in Rajasthan.

Adhav said that several labourers in Rajasthan are suffering from flurosis and silicosis -- diseases that affect many industrial workers -- and the labour organisations should come forward for them.

"If the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) can be implemented in the country, why cannot Mathadi Act be?" he asked.

Mathadi, Hamal and Other Manual Workers Act is implemented in Maharashtra, which provides education to kids, home and other social securities to labourers, he added.

PUCL state general secretary Kavita Srivastava said that implementing Mathadi Act in Rajasthan can improve living standard of unorganised labourers and provide them social security.

There was a need for labour organisations to demand that the Act be implemented in the state, Srivastava said. PTI AG CK


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