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Tamilian workers get a raw deal in Kerala

Tamilian workers get a raw deal in Kerala

india Updated: Mar 10, 2004 05:44 IST

A 50-year-old man owning a three-acre farm is the last person one may find laying bricks at some faraway construction site. But with the average migrant Tamilian worker in Kerala, anything is possible.

Murugeshan began as a helper to a mason nine years ago when he came to Kerala. He is now a mason himself, earning Rs 200 a day. He works eight hours at various construction sites in Kottayam district and manages to save Rs 80 from his daily wage.

"Most of us cook and live on the site because proper lodging can cost around Rs 300 a month even if it is shared by two." If injured, he gets reimbursed for the 'first hospital bill'; the rest he has to foot himself.

Every year, he is out of work for three monsoon months. "At that time, my family lives on my savings. Once the rains are over, I come back for more work." Back home in Tirunelveli district, a family of three and a three-acre farm await his attention. "But without water, what's the use?" he asks.

First Published: Mar 10, 2004 05:44 IST