Jharkhand: 36 beedi companies closed in Chakradharpur, one lakh laborers migrated


Chakradharpur, Ravi Mohanty. In Chakradharpur town of West Singhbhum district, 36 beedi companies have closed down, due to which one lakh laborers have migrated. Three decades ago, 40 beedi companies were operating in the city, which have now reduced to just four. In this, only three thousand laborers are able to earn their living by working.

The children of beedi workers used to get scholarship, which has stopped since last five years. Even the health card of the laborers is not being made. Because of which they are not able to get the medicines etc. provided by the government. Beedi Hospital being built during the tenure of the then Chief Minister Arjun Munda for the health care of laborers is still incomplete in Lododih.

A 10-bed hospital was to be constructed in Chakradharpur by the government. But that hospital has now been shifted to Jhumritlaiya. The laborers working in beedi company are getting only PF and pension facilities. Now Pankaj Beedi Company, Pilli Beedi Company, TM Patel Beedi Company and Samaj Beedi Company are operating in Chakradharpur.

Chakradharpur was running from Bidi Company!

In 1990, beedi industry was running on a large scale in Chakradharpur. There was beedi on one side and rail on the other side. Lakhs of people used to work in both the companies. At that time, Chakradharpur market was running only with the money of bidi industry. But due to getting higher wage rates in other states, the laborers here started migrating. Here 8 to 10 thousand laborers were working in each beedi company. On one hand the exodus of laborers and on the other hand extortion and collection of donations from beedi companies played an important role in the closure of the companies.

More than one lakh laborers used to work in 40 beedi company

There were 40 beedi companies, small and big, in Chakradharpur city. In which there were Surti Beedi Company, Vidarbha Beedi Company, CJ Patel Beedi Company, Manohar Bhai Ambalal Beedi Company, Meghna Beedi Company, PD Patel Beedi Company, Dholak Beedi Company, PK Parwal Beedi Company and other Beedi companies. Only in each of these companies 10 to 40 lakh beedis were made by laborers every day. Now Pankaj Beedi, Pilli Beedi, TM Patel Beedi and Samaj Beedi Company are in Chakradharpur. But due to lack of demand from the people, the company is only feeding the laborers.

Supply is done from Chakradharpur to Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

Before Chakradharpur, beedi was consumed all over the country. But now beedis are sent only in the states of Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In which some cities of Madhya Pradesh including Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh, Bijnor, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar are included.

Kendu leaves are available on the basis of quality

Beedi companies operating in Chakradharpur city get kendu leaves from the Forest Department Corporation on the basis of quality. Which is bought at the price of 100 to 150 rupees per kg.

Three decades ago, Bidi companies dominated the city of Chakradharpur. Now the company is only feeding the laborers. If this situation continues, then in a few years the beedi company will be closed. After which we will also return to our state. Because the demand of people towards bidi is decreasing- Ramesh Bhai Patel, Secretary, Singhbhum Beedi Association

Beedi companies were giving employment to the poor. Then due to the workers and companies there was a lot of buying and selling in the market. There was prosperity in all the cities and villages. But due to the closure of beedi companies, there was a lot of impact in the business. Re-opening of beedi companies is necessary to stop migration from Jharkhand. Vinod Bhageria, President, Singhbhum Beedi Association

What do the workers say?

Beedi workers should get benefits of pension, PF, health facilities, better education for children, housing scheme, but apart from pension and PF they are not getting other benefits. Dharmendra Pradhan, Banalata

Earlier many facilities were provided to the beedi workers by the government. But now only PF deduction is happening- Sudam Pradhan, Hatia

Government should pay attention to beedi workers. So that even the working laborers can get the best education of their children and run their families. Pawan Sardar, Karanjo

Health cards should be made for beedi workers and arrangements should be made for medicines and health check-ups every week. Umesh Pradhan, Banalata

The children of beedi workers can get better education. For this, the beedi workers schools which are being closed should be re-opened and enrolled in them. love dominant, banality

Scholarship was given to the children of beedi workers by the government. But the scholarship has stopped for the last five years. turn it on- Rajkumar Tanti, Hindusai

By building a hospital, the government should check the health of beedi workers and their families and arrange proper medicines. Doitari Pradhan, Jamdih

Earlier lakhs of people used to get employment by working in beedi companies. But people are migrating due to the closure of companies. Government should curb it Sugyani Pradhan, Padampur

Beedi workers are not getting the benefit of the government scheme. The officials of the government should pay attention to this and benefit- Lakhan Gagarai, Mandalsai

A hospital was being built in Lododih for beedi workers. But it is incomplete. Which should be constructed quickly and benefited from it- Foreign Gop, Padampur

Children used to get scholarship, so there was relief in studies. But due to the closure of scholarship for the last several years, the beedi workers are facing financial burden. Tirupati Pradhan, Kuruliya

Beedi workers should be given all the facilities they get from the government including housing, pension. So that the families of laborers can lead a better life. Hema Hamad, Indakata

To uplift the economic condition of beedi workers, the government is running several schemes including housing. But the plans are not getting off the ground. Kapoor Chand Pradhan, Kurulia

Beedi workers should be examined every week and given medicine. But in Chakradharpur there is no arrangement even for a hospital. Vinod Gope, Indakata

In Deoghar’s Madhupur, lakhs of beedi leaves, including a truck, were burnt to ashes after coming under the grip of a high tension wire

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