Labour minister Shahid Manzoor launched a midday-meal scheme for construction workers on Sunday in Wave One tower in Sector 18. While the minister himself shared a meal with the labourers present as a gesture of solidarity, signage at the venue indicated that there were separate washrooms for ‘guests’ and labourers.
Apart from Manzoor, the event was also attended by district magistrate NP Singh. Both of them stressed that the main guests were the ‘labourer brothers’ and the scheme was launched to honour their work.
“The main guests of the event are our ‘mazdoor’ brothers, it is in their honour that we have assembled today,” said Manzoor.
However, while the ‘guest’ washrooms were on the second floor, the ones meant for the labourers were up on the 10th floor.
“What is the big deal about it? We labourers have always been discriminated against by the rich. We don’t even care about such formalities,” said Ram, (name changed), a labourer present at the event.
When asked about the same, Manzoor said, “This is only a temporary arrangement of washrooms for the labourers. The media shouldn’t just report negative news; it should focus on the positive aspects.”
The meal scheme for labourers was launched by the Uttar Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. Under this scheme, registered construction workers can avail afternoon tiffin for a subsidised price of `10.
“More than 1,600 registered construction workers in Noida and Greater Noida can avail a meal under this scheme. Soon, we will also launch a subsidised dinner for them too,” said Manzoor.
“We want to ensure that a construction worker receives a minimum of 1,200 calories per day and for that reason we will be providing subsidized food at `10. Soon, a school for their children will also be opened,” said Singh.