In the government’s endeavour of ensuring governance at the doorsteps, the temporary employees across the country are playing a pivotal role to make sure that the target is achieved. But, at the same time, the government’s lymphatic attitude towards the daily wagers has pushed up the suicide rate among the group as over 40,000 temporary employees have opted to end the life in 2021.
The disturbing figures have come to the fore through National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, which claims that one in four of the recorded 1,64,033 suicide victims was a daily wage earner during last year. The temporary employee remained the largest group (profession-wise) among total number of suicide victims in 2021. The group accounts for 42,004 suicides or 25.6% of the total suicide victims.
The figures are alarming for one and all, besides putting a question mark over the measures being taken for the wellbeing of the daily wagers. The suicide rate is an ample proof that most of the daily wagers are distressed and instead of hoping for the better future, they opt to end their lives, which is a cause of concern for the people at the helm of affairs.
The promises of regularizing the daily wagers from time to time by the successive regimes have fallen flat while some measures taken by the government like implementation of Minimum Wages Act, which would have brought some respite to them, have not been implemented in many places including Jammu and Kashmir.
The Minimum Wages Act-1948, is a sigh of relief for the daily wagers as the temporary employee would be able to get a wage of Rs 600-1200 per day from present Rs 300 per day.
Moreover, the prevalent situation for the daily wagers is against the rules set by the government itself as according to the SRO-520, any employee, who serves in the department as daily wager for a decade, will have to be regularized. Earlier, the rules under SRO-64 were being followed, which directs for the regularization of an employee after serving for six years only.
The dilly dallying tactics being played by the government in regularising the daily wagers despite serving for more than two decades are clear violation of norms, forcing the group to take an extreme step.
Therefore, the abetment of suicides by daily wagers has to be looked into thoroughly and those found responsible must be taken to the task to ensure that the rights violation against the group is put to an immediate end and also helps in declining the suicide rate among the temporary employees.