Published : Oct 22, 2010 00:00 IST

TIRUPUR workers' plight is primarily triggered by the inhospitable working conditions in the factories (Driven to despair, October 8). The government should wield the regulatory stick with more determination although the fragmented nature of the industry is a big challenge. In Kerala, the government has intervened to ensure that migrant workers are provided with decent working conditions by the construction industry. The textile managements in Tirupur need to ameliorate the stressful working conditions without any serious erosion in profits.

V.N. Mukundarajan Thiruvananthapuram

IT is unfortunate that Tirupur town is in the news for the high incidence of suicides among its migrant workers. Sadly, the income generated by cities and towns is not put back into developmental activities protection of the interests of workers and their families living there. Coimbatore, once known as the Manchester of the South, is going through a bad phase owing to the visionless policies of the State and Central governments and partly owing to aggressive trade unionism.

Similar is the fate of Tirupur. In the name of competition and globalisation, workers become permanent migrants without any clue to their future. The uncertain lives resulting from uncertain incomes lead to frustration and humiliation.

S.A. Srinivasa Sarma Ameerpet, Hyderabad

THE situation in which workers in Tirupur live low wages, appalling working conditions, poor housing facilities, and exploitation needs to be changed. Those on the verge of committing suicide need counselling, treatment and rehabilitation.

Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram

THE Cover Story has focussed on the depth of the crisis in all its dimensions. The interviews with psychologist Gita Menon and writer Subrabharathi Manian were wonderful. The changes taking place on the labour front and the decisive stance of modern managements against the entry of trade unions into the industry are all hallmarks of neoliberalism. Factors such as lack of socialisation push disgruntled workers into despair. The stories from the textile city call for a serious study and proactive intervention by progressive trade unions.

S.V. Venugopalan Chennai

Frontline alone has shown the courage to report suicides by hundreds of garment workers in Tirupur (October 8). As the eminent journalist P. Sainath puts it, The poor have to die in sufficiently large numbers for the world to take note of it. The sad part is that this threshold (the minimum number of deaths) is increasing day by day.

The world seems to take a serious note of calamities such as 9/11 (in which 3,000 people died) and the Madrid train bombings (191 deaths). But much larger (though slower) phenomena in other parts of the world escape people's attention. A case in point is the Rwandan genocide in which about a million people were butchered in three months. Infant mortality in India is another instance.

While democracy as a form of government is good, income inequality (measured by the Gini index) has been growing in most democracies. The Gini index of India is 37 (which is close to conflict-ridden sub-Saharan Africa's value of 50. The ideal value is 25, which the Nordic countries have achieved).

Inequalities across industries are rising. Agriculture lags behind sectors such as information technology in terms of margins of profit and minimum wage rate.

Unskilled labour in all fields earn so little that they lack the strength to bargain collectively and have new laws made in their favour or have existing laws (meant to protect them) implemented properly.

Sriram Bajrang Bulusu Dallas, Texas, U.S.Professor's plight

THE nexus between political parties and religious fundamentalists exerted pressure on the college management to sack Professor T.J. Joseph (Yet another blow, October 8).

The religious zealots who attacked him are moving about freely, which shows that justice is still too far in our country.

K.R. Srinivasan SecunderabadManipur

THE alleged rape and killing of Thangjam Manorama in Manipur reveals what unbridled power can do even to those who are supposed to help and protect us (Defining act, October 8).

It appears that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has created more problems than it has solved.

The genuine anger and the sense of insecurity of the Manipuri people was evident in the naked protest by some of their women. The theory that the current turmoil is the work of extremist elements is unacceptable. There is still hope to save this new Kashmir in the making.

It is high time the government listened to the people of Kashmir and Manipur and consider scrapping the AFSPA.

Prathit Charan Misra AllahabadANNOUNCEMENT

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