Note: Blog initially written 35 months back in November 2006 on my yahoo360 profile। I was in Kolkata during my graduation days. This blog is about the lack of social responsibility in maintaining minimum compliance for small scale leather goods manufacturing units. This negligence resulted in loss of lives for some bonded labors who were locked in the factory.
Blog is old, but the issue is still burning
Myself Blogged in November 2006 : -
It won't smell only the tanned leather while driving along the E.M.Bypass; it would now smell the burnt sweat and flesh of those labors living in Topsia-Tiljala industrial belt. The Topsia incident was appalling, the extent of money-mind ness that labors are locked at their workplace. They are no more than bonded labors. According to the telegraph these labors arebought from rural areas of Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. Most of them are child labors. A week before CITU(Trade Union of CPM) launched a trade union for IT sector, cause they believed they should protect rights of non-technical labors involved. That was a good thing to hear, but why they can't witness the non-conformity of simple compliances like potable water, cleanliness, fire safety and child labor. The topsia region is known for its illegal/unregistered business. Tenex Exports was one of them. Simple compliance conformity doesn't require ISO certification, but goodwill of an entrepreneur towards those hands which yield him dollars of profit.
Bags manufactured in that unit were exported to distant parts of world, as you can imagine the working condition as seen in picture(source: The Telegraph). I happened to visit a leather tannery in a Field Study visit during my first semester at NIFT. Ten of us vomited on the spot. There was only smell of fermented cow and buffalo skin, which entered our food pipe; reached stomach to take things out of it. By the way we reached fresh air after some time; but imagine some of our fellow citizens don't have that liberty to go away from their workplace for a while, and nine of them ended up dead, who leaved the fresh air of their village to earn somemoney for their family.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said: “Most of the buildings and the factories in that area are illegal… We have ordered an administrative inquiry.”
I hope the administrative enquiry would yield something good; at stake of loosing some foreign exchange, for prohibiting the proliferating of such illegal business. however, they don't yield any contribution to revenue of the state. Votes are perhaps something which government can loose, but a blogger like me will always appreciate such moves।
Mr. Rajesh comments on the blog:-
The incidences like this one at Topsia Leather Export Body do keep happening in India .The answers we are looking for have to come from our own thoughts what i mean here is a question that whether we are in position to change the system or not ?
Bcz,I havent seen any step so far on behalf our governments that has stopped these kind of unfortunate accidents.But here I do see a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is people like you who stand up and raise there voice against the laid back attitude of the monitors of our system towards there responsibilities which they are supposed to discharge & these people and no one else have to stand responsible for these kind of things that happen around them and make us feel pity for those innocent souls.
My suggestions are .. do what you can do from your own level and keep your head raised with the feeling that I have done all that I can ..from my end and rest will be taken care of by the almighty which is another name of Laws of Nature and Wisdom which trancends the religon ,caste and creed ..
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