Mumbai: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report about the plight of women labourers engaged in sugarcane cutting for several factories in Shrigonda Tehsil of Ahmednagar district. As per the report, 10% of them are pregnant but unaware of their lawful rights and the benefits ensured under various government schemes. They are not granted any maternity leaves and child care facilities and no healthy diet is provided to them by the departments concerned.
The NGRC has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issues of human rights violations. It is the prime duty of the State Government to safeguard the lawful rights of vulnerable sections of society, including poor labourers and women workers who are giving birth during work without any special care. Accordingly, the Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of Government of Maharashtra calling for a detailed report within four weeks.
According to the media report, carried on January 11 this year, the Taluka Medical Officer of the Shrigonda has stated that they have a record of about 35 women labourers who delivered in the current crop season. He has given data pertaining to seven primary health centres under his tehsil and has also stated that it is necessary for the management of the factories and horticulturists to create awareness among labourers about right to a healthy diet, a few days of leave and necessary health and medical facilities during pregnancy and after delivery.
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