Thiruvananthapuram: Penpillai Orumai has decided to go for crowdfunding for its candidate Gomathi Augustine contesting from Idukki through online platform Our democracy.
She is following the footsteps of CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar, the former president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union who is fighting from Begusarai in Bihar.
Mr Kumar has so far raised Rs 70 lakh from more than 5,500 people through our democracy.in specialised in political crowdfunding with payment structure tailored to suit Election Commission rules.
Santhosh Kumar of Keraleeyam who’s part of Gomathi campaign said she wanted to bring to the public the need to amend the Indian Plantation Act, 1951.
“Welfare of plantation labour including housing, water, food and education is not with the state but the plantation management under the law,” he told DC.
“One of the reasons for exemption of plantations from land reforms act was this law. It also allows low wages and extended work hours for labourers.”
They do not have their habitat. They live in layams provided by the plantation. In case of retirement, they would have to vacate the accommodations. As a result, their children are also forced to take up the jobs in plantations to safeguard their habitation, said Mr Kumar. In September 2015, the women plantation workers under the aegis of Pembilai Orumai protested against Kanan Devan Hills Plantations demanding better wages and working conditions for its 4,000-odd women employees.
Later, in the same year, Gomathi was elected from the Nallathanni division to the Devikulam block panchayat, which was seen as a major success for their movement.