Exploitative character of employers forces the labourer to work like an animal depriving him of rest to which every human being is entitled
In the comforts of rooms with the facilities of air conditioners to fight the scorching heat and room heaters to combat the bitter cold, one cannot understand or feel the pain that is fundamental in the lives of those who face the question of survival and cannot afford to dream of luxury and lavishness.
Let us be clear that it is not an exaggeration but it is a mirror reflection of the reality of pain and intense struggle going on in the lives of millions. Here, I shall try to bring to light the hard struggle a labourer gets through before he can afford to meet the basic necessity of bread and butter for himself and his dear ones.
The harvesting season is still going on. Like the previous year, this year also the flow of migrant labourers from outside has been very low. As a result, much of the workload had to be met either by the indigenous labour or by ourselves.
Like many others, I too had to assist my family members for some days in carrying out the harvesting process. From my 11th standard, I had a passion towards the working class people but from the last few years I had an opportunity to actually realize what it means to be a labourer.
I worked for few days with my family members in the fields but these few days have turned the theories and thought I read in books into the actuality and reality I witnessed on ground. After having a little bit taste of backbreaking and grueling work in the fields, I realized the hardships a labourer must be going through before feeding his children at night.
Just like me, I heard many others complaining of extreme tiredness after a day or few days of work. So shall we not ask ourselves the question that what about those who have the compulsion for working throughout the year for their livelihood? What will be their level of physical tiredness and mental exhaustion after going through the arduous work round the year?
They have no alternative but to bear the rounds of scorching heat and bitter cold outside their houses to feed themselves and their family members. Sometimes, they have to bend their shoulders for heavy load while at other times they have to torture their bodies and mind in other ways.
This is a story not of the big dreams but a story of want, deprivation and privation. I will not go too far but I surely will try to point out at the lessons that this story holds for many of us. These lessons are not meant to bring about changes in the structures but these are meant to make changes at the personal level of employers so as to have a compassionate approach towards labourers to which they are entitled.
In most of the times I have seen, a labourer is treated as a commodity. He is forced to have a sub human existence during the work. Without giving him a full recognition as a human, the employers be it a factory owner or the elite families, he is used as just a means for material ends.
The exploitative character of employers forces the labourer to work like an animal depriving him of the rest and pause to which every human being is entitled. Despite all this, he does not get the adequate wages for his work and at many times the meager amount is also delayed.
For any significant change to take place, the issue must be addressed at the structural level. However, a change in the personal behaviour of employers is also needed as it can make a bit difference if not much. The employers must understand that a labourer is a human and cannot be used as a commodity for extreme selfish ends.
He must be highly compassionate towards the labourer and ensure that after doing the arduous work for him, he must get a handsome wage at time in return for the laborious work. He must be given the appropriate time for rest and repose to ease his body which is fundamental to every human being.
The working hours during the day must be reduced as he cannot afford to work from the dawn to dusk. This must not be considered as a mercy for them but it is their due that they are entitled to.
This all is meant to ensure that they come out of sub human existence and respecting their fundamental right to live as human beings.