For us, the biggest challenge of 2018 has been to save our jobs in the face of the privatisation drive being unleashed by the current government. Underpayment of wages and other forms of exploitation, mostly befalling upon the lowest-rung workers of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), has become routine under this government. I myself have been opposing this drive, but that seems to be having the opposite effect on those calling shots.
We have been watching with unease as FCI depots, one after the other, are being contracted to private contractors. The privatisation drive has been particularly severe in UP, MP and Rajasthan.
The workers who have been facing the brunt are finding it hard to make ends meet, some families are even finding it difficult to put food on the table twice a day. While the private players are making profits, the income of workers is taking a hit.
My only wish for 2019 is that this trend be reversed. We want to be on regular payroll of the government, so that our kids have a secure future.