Year on, still no help for kin of migrant worker who died in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: A year after a migrant worker from Chhattisgarh, Gajapathi Jangde fell from the fourth floor of a construction site and died, his family is seeking justice and compensation from the owners. Jangde’s wife wrote to the human rights commission, requesting them for help.

On the fateful day of February 18 last year, Jangde was doing masonry work at the construction site located in CVSR College located in Ghatkesar. He died on the spot after falling from the fourth floor. When Jangde’s wife Sonakumari rushed upon receiving the news, no one was present to help her. “The college management kept my husband’s dead body outside the premises. No one even touched him,” she said.

The management promised fair compensation and the body was taken to their native village for final rites. Lockdown forced the family to live there, in harsh conditions. No one from the college management tried to contact her or offered her help, even on humanitarian grounds.

After lockdown lifted Sonkumari came to Hyderabad. “The college administration ignored my pleas, even after the promise they’ve made. I went to file a complaint at the police station.” Much to her dismay, she was told that the case has been closed as Jangde’s death was proved to be an accident.

“No one bothered to inform me of that development,” she lamented.

It was then the matter was brought to the notice of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Telangana. They espoused the family of the late Jangde and made representations to the state government and demanded workplace safety, right to representation, fair and equitable compensation for migrant workers.

Speaking about the matter, Sudhershan Rao Sarde, National vice-president of HMS said, “So far no compensation is paid and the management is very callous and irresponsible in their behavior with the family members of the deceased worker. The Telangana government should conduct an inquiry into the death of the migrant worker; fair and equitable compensation of Rs 26 lakhs should be paid to the family,” he added.

Explaining about problems faced by migrant workers in the state, Riaz Ahmed, president of HMS, said, “The management should provide employment to the dependent of a deceased migrant worker, strict implementation of workplace safety norms at all workplaces.” He suggested grievance cells be set up, where they can make representations to deal with emergencies and fatalities in the state.

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