28 June 2020

PBKMS will observe NREGA Adhikar Diwas across West Bengal on June 29, 2020

The national lockdown imposed in March to contain the spread of Covid19 has disrupted economic activities, leading to loss of livelihoods and unemployment across the country. Shutting down of factories and worksites in urban areas has forced crores of workers to return to their villages.

This has resulted in a huge increase in the demand for work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). However, every rural household is entitled to only 100 days of NREGA work in a year. Those who get NREGA work earn highly unremunerative wages, which are even lower than the statutory minimum wage in most states. This, along with long and unpredictable delays in wage payments have turned many workers away from the scheme. There is also widespread disregard for local planning as workers are usually made to work on schemes prioritized by the government.

In this context of mass economic insecurity and inadequate entitlements of NREGA workers, join us and NREGA Sangharsh Morcha in observing 29 June as “NREGA Adhikar Diwas”.

Workers across the country will submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister to
  1. Demand an increase in the annual work guarantee to 200 days per person,
  2. Revision of the NREGA wage rate to Rs 600 per day (as per the recommendation of the Seventh Pay Commission, 
  3. Implementation of only locally planned works
আমাদের এখন এক কঠিন পরিস্থিতির সম্মুখীন হতে হচ্ছে। এক দিকে পরিযায়ী শ্রমিকেরা ঘরে ফিরতে বাধ্য হচ্ছেন এই দীর্ঘ লকডাউনের ফলে আর অন্য দিকে গ্রামীণ অর্থনীতির বেহাল দশার জন্য গ্রামবাংলায় তাদের কাজের সুযোগ অত্যন্ত কমে গেছে। এমন এক পরিস্থিতে ১০০ দিনের কাজের অধিকারের জন্যে আমাদের সকলকে সরব হতে হবে|
আসুন আমরা সকলে মিলে নরেগা সংঘর্ষ মোর্চার আহ্বানে ২৯ সে জুন, আগামী সোমবার যে কর্মসূচি পালনের ডাক দেয়া হয়েছে সেটিকে সফল করে তুলি এবং মাননীয় প্রধানমন্ত্রী কে আমাদের দাবি সনদ সহ স্বারকলিপি পেশ করি ।


03 June 2020

PBKMS and SMS members observe day of mourning in 8 districts including areas devastated by Amphan

Day of mourning for migrant workers and others who have died due to the national lockdown instituted to stop the spread of COVID-19 started from 7 .30 AM on June 01, 2020. PBKMS and sister organization Shramajivi Mahila Samity (SMS) assembled and commemorated the National Day of Mourning in 8 different districts of West Bengal. 


In the tea gardens in the foothills of the Himalayas where plucking and other work was underway, PBKMS members took a few moments to observe the national day of mourning.

At Nagaisuree tea estate, members took a break in the middle of plucking and showed their solidarity with placards. While some held a graphic showing the figures of people who have died due to the lockdown, others held signs saying, “ Our demand: free and safe transport for migrant worker”, “ Our demand: safe quarantine centers” , “ Our demand: 240 days of work through MGNREGA”. Some held signs declaring, “Secure Workers. Secure India.”

PBKMS members observed two minutes of silence while taking a break from work to commemorate the national day of mourning in Kohinoor tea garden.

In Lankapara tea garden, a small group assembled with placards.

In Ramjhora tea estate, members mourned the dead.


SMS members observed two minutes silence in their village for all those who have died because of the lockdown in Anchuri, Bankura-1. 

In Malakarpara, Anchuri, Bankura-1 members assembled with placards to show solidarity with the nationwide campaign.

In Chowbata village of Gogra GP, Saltora, PBKMS members assembled in different places of their village including an NREGA jobsite. They displayed their demands on placards and observed two minutes of silence for the dead.

In Kalibasa, Saltora a small group assembled to display PBKMS demands on placards.

PBKMS members submitted a letter of demands in a deputation to the District Magistrate in Bankura town and displayed placard with their demands outside the DM office.


PBKMS members lined up on two sides of the road at Bamandanga Tundu tea estate to observe the national day of mourning.


PBKMS and SMS members assembled in small groups in various places in the district with placards and observed two minutes of silence.






North 24 Paraganas

PBKMS members campaigned in the local community for their demands and spread awareness about the national day of mourning in the local community at Murarisha Chowmatha, Hasnabad.

One of the campaigning members carries a placard demanding 200 days of work per person under MGNREGA.

Members marched through the village in Gabtola, Hasnabad to tell people about the reason PBKMS was mourning the dead and informed people about demands their union was raising.

In Habashpur, Hasnabad they assembled to discuss demands.

In Murarisha Chowmatha, Hasnabad they held a meeting to inform others.

In Durgamandap village of Sandeshkhali-1, another area ravaged by Amphan, members assembled in a small group.

Paschim Medinipur

In Koronji, Danton PBKMS members took a break from loading harvested paddy into granaries (goals) and commemorated the National Day of Mourning.

In Ainkola Bazar, Danton, SMS and PBKMS assembled together in the market.


At an NREGA worksite in Lakhanpur in Hura block, NREGA workers who are members of PBKMS hold a meeting on their demands and observe two minutes of silence. One of the placards demands Rs 7000 per month cash transfer for the next three months to all workers.

SMS and PBKMS members observe 2 minutes silence with black badges in Laikidih , Hura Block. Some hold placards saying, “Stop the opening of liquor shops in villages in the name of revenue growth”

PBKMS members took out a silent procession through the village with social distancing in Puncha,  in solidarity with suffering migrant workers and in mourning for those who died due to the nationwide lockdown.

PBKMS members observe two minutes of silence to mourn the dead due to the national lockdown at an NREGA worksite in Kharpora village, Ladhurka Gram Panchayat, Hura.

In Tumrashole, Barabazar block, members assemble in the village and mourn the dead with 2 minutes of silence after a meeting to discuss PBKMS demands.

PBKMS members assemble on a NREGA jobsite in Chandra, Puncha block to commemorate on national day of mourning.

PBKMS members observe two minutes of silence on a NREGA jobsite in Purulia-2 block to mourn the 750 dead due to the nationwide lockdown. 

In Bela, Balarampur PBKMS activists gather outside the Panchayat office and commemorate the National Day of Mourning.

PBKMS members submit a letter of demands in a deputation to the District Magistrate in Purulia town and commemorate the day of mourning outside the DM office.

South 24 Paraganas

People gathered in small groups in various places in the Amphan affected regions of the Sunderbans in South 24 Paraganas.

In two villages, Bhasha and Madhya Gurguria, in Bhubaneshwari gram panchayat in Kultali block women from PBKMS and SMS gathered with children and did a thali bajao abhiyan like the one the entire nation had participated in at the Prime Minister’s invitation before the announcement of the lockdown. But this was not a celebration but rather an expression of their frustration at government and societal apathy towards their situation; their destroyed homes, breached embankments, flooded field, destroyed crops and dead fish. They expressed their anger at how the men in their family who had migrated to distant states had been treated and how they were now returning penniless, jobless, with huge debts, and sometimes infected with disease but no income prospects in sight in their villages. They held placards saying “Our houses have broken, give us houses. We want to stay in our villages, give us work” along with other demands PBKMS has raised. They wanted to show the world that their plates were empty and demand loud and clear, “Food on every plate. Work in every hand.”

In flood affected Moipith, Kultali SMS members assembled on a field to show their solidarity on national say of mourning. 

In Namkhana, where Amphan first made landfall. SMS members assembled in various places in their villages and held up placards with PBKMS demands. Some carried COVID-19 awareness posters.

In Achintanagar, Pathar Pratima, where fields have also been flooded with saline water a group of PBKMS members assembled to show solidarity with their fellow workers across India on the national day of mourning.

In Mallikpur village of Mandirbazar block, PBKMS members assembled holding placards displaying their demands and observed two minutes of silence.

In Barpara, Mathurapur-1 PBKMS women assembled with placards.

In Ghosher Chowk, Mathurapur-1, PBKMS members observed silence to mourn the dead wearing black masks.