Bengal: DYFI's 'Insaaf Yatra' for Jobs ‘Makes Waves’ Along Its Path
Kolkata/Baharampur: The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) initiated the 'Insaaf Yatra' in West Bengal, led by DYFI State Secretary Minakshi Mukherjee and President Dhrubojyoti Saha.
The rally is gaining momentum in West Bengal as people enthusiastically join and engage with Yatra participants, sharing their living conditions, concerns about price hikes, and livelihood challenges. Commencing from Coochbihar, the rally traversed through Alipurduar's tea gardens, Siliguri Town, and spanned North Dinajpur and Malda districts.
In Raigunge of North Dinajpur and Maldah, significant rallies were held and addressed by Minakshi Mukherjee, among others.
Speaking to NewsClick, Mukherjee, who covered about 300 kilometres on foot over the last 13 days, expressed that the West Bengal government has been unresponsive to people's demands for local employment opportunities, forcing state youths to seek menial jobs in other states. She highlighted the tragic outcome of this situation, with many dying and returning in coffins, stressing that adequate local employment could have prevented such tragedies. She criticised the state's ineffective social security schemes that fail to alleviate the hardships faced by its people.
"Youth leaders aren't just demanding jobs; they're also advocating for the rights of contractual workers. The electricity production in Farakka heavily relies on the strenuous efforts of contractual workers who are grossly underpaid. Our participation in DYFI's Insaaf Yatra is rooted in the quest for our rights," remarked Akbar Sekh of Farakka, who welcomed the DYFI Insaf Rally on November 12 in Tildanga.
The rally, themed "Fight for Your Rights, Join Insaf Rally (Odhikar Bujhe Nite-Insaf Yatra)," reached Farakka of Murshidabad District on November 12.
Subsequently, on the following day, DYFI West Bengal State Secretary Minakshi Mukherjee and DYFI State President Dhrubojyoti Saha visited the homes of migrant workers who had recently died while working.
Migrant workers from Murshidabad labour in states such as Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and others, primarily in risk-prone construction sector jobs. Lacking proper security measures and liability protection, these workers face fatal risks weekly. In their interactions with the relatives of deceased workers, Minakshi Mukherjee and other DYFI activists visited the house of Rahul Sekh, a school dropout who lost his life working in Odisha.
"My son used to attend school, but to support the family, he left and started working. His sudden death has left us in shock," lamented Rahul's mother, Kaminur Bibi, to the DYFI leaders.
In the Karmandal Express train accident, Dipankar Mondal of Farakka lost his life while en route to Chennai for construction work. His father, Laxman Mondal, regretted, "If there were work opportunities in West Bengal, my son would have stayed with us."
Minakshi Mukherjee, Dhrubojyoti Saha, and other DYFI leaders engaged with the people of Dadantola, Farakka, who are combating illegal encroachments on their mango and litchi orchards. Accusing the TMC-led state government of orchestrating these land grabs, Santosh Sarkar of Dadantola alleged their complicity. DYFI State President Dhrubojyoti Saha promised legal assistance to the affected villagers.
The Insaf Rally commenced from Farakka on November 12, concluding in Raghunathganj. Theatre activist Sourabh Palodhi attended the rally. During a public meeting in Jamtala of Farakka, DYFI leaders criticised the Mamata Government, citing similarities with Narendra Modi's political strategies.
DYFI activists walked approximately 15 kilometres en route, conversing with villagers. Dhulian residents welcomed the Insaf rally with flowers and garlands.
In Samserganj Block of Murshidabad, residents who lost their homes congregated along the roadside to welcome the Insaf Rally. A public meeting was organised in Pratapganj of Samserganj, where DYFI leaders voiced their concerns over the state government's failure to halt Ganga riverbank erosion. Minakshi Mukherjee criticised the state and central governments for their indifference towards stopping erosion in Samserganj, citing corruption in ongoing government projects.
Mukherjee also targeted TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of involvement in job scams and ration-corruption in West Bengal. Asserting DYFI's anti-corruption stance, she emphasised their ongoing battle against injustices perpetrated by the TMC and BJP governments.
Sukhi Das, who lost her home due to Ganga riverbank erosion, expressed optimism upon witnessing the rally. She lamented the government and MLA's indifference during the erosion crisis, appreciating the attention brought by the youth activists.
"We protest all forms of injustice. These issues will be raised at DYFI's brigade rally on January 7. DYFI will persist in its fight against injustices perpetrated by the TMC and BJP governments," affirmed Dhrubojyoti Saha, DYFI's state president, regarding the rally.
Jinarul Islam from Murshidabad joined the rally in Uttar Dinajpur District, highlighting its purpose beyond a mere protest demonstration. He emphasised the rally's focus on engaging with villagers and addressing their problems.
On November 13, the Insaf Rally commenced from Raghunathganj, culminating in Lalbag town of Murshidabad. Former DYFI leader Abhas Roy Chowdhury, Zamir Molla, Shatarup Ghosh, and actor Badsha Moitro participated in the rally.
"Under the TMC regime, injustice prevails in West Bengal. Soaring unemployment has become a crisis. While the state shelters corrupt ministers and leaders, BJP's communal politics pushes the state backward. This Insaf Yatra fights against these injustices, advocating for people's rights and upholding secular, democratic values," remarked DYFI State President Dhrubojyoti Saha during a public meeting in Jangipur, garnering congratulations from former DYFI leader Abhas Roy Chowdhury for their efforts. Chowdhury highlighted the diminishing employment opportunities and emphasised the need for the Delhi and Kolkata administrations to consider the plight of Bengal's youth.
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