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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Do you have "dekko" labor in your State?

    A good friend of mine, a banker was transferred to Cochin in Kerala. He had already fixed a house and he had booked the lorry from Madurai. The lorry had three persons who had agreed to unload the household goods. It was a small number of goods, as the family was small. The moment the lorry arrived at the residence, at least six people appeared from nowhere and demanded that they be given the work of unloading. My friend explained to them that he already had two people and he would manage. The guys would not listen.

    They demanded their pound of flesh from my friend. I understand that it is called "Dekho labour" in Kerala. That is, the men would not do any work, but they just "see" the work being done.
    My friend was shocked but had to oblige, as he did not know the language and tried to explain only in Tamil and English One of the men, it was reported, knew Tamil very well.

    Do you have this practice anywhere in India? In Tamil Nadu, I have not heard of this practice. This seems to be the result of communism. One really does not know how such things can be allowed, but these things are allowed.
  • #733650
    I have not heard this practice exists anywhere. I don't think it's a good practice if exists anywhere in the country. It should be reported to police, so that police may take stringent action against these people. I think the author should not jump to a conclusion and attributing it to 'communism'.
    They should pay thanks to these labourers as they were demanding to do some work but if you come in some other parts of the country you, being stranger, will be looted by some people. if you try to resist they will beat you or kill you as well.

  • #733653
    The author is right. Kerala is having this practice of "Attimari". There is a vast gang of labours who are located in each and every corner of Kerala streets. These guys would quietly wait for the item to get loadrd/unloaded by the lorry driver or owner of the goods. At the end, they would come up and say that it is there area of responsibility to load and unload items. They have a big union and all would gather if we don't pay the sum demanded by them.

    But it it was done within a compound wall, they won't dare to come in to demand. I had such bitter experiences. Once I shifted my luggages at midnight with the help of the driver and cleaner of the vehicle by paying some additional sum. Once when I was shifting my luggage inside the compound wall, they tried, but I ignored them.

    Kerala is prone to labour disturbance to the common public. Even if we want to buy heavy items from a grocery shop and load it into an auto or truck, the guys would stand there and demand, even if we ourself do the job. In that respect, I would call Kerala as useless. It is not happening in my state 'Tamilnadu'.

    No life without Sun

  • #733654
    The author has indicated a peculiar development in Kerala not heard of in my life. If such a thing is prevailing in that region for long, the labourers might have been strong due to the formation of a strong alliance and they cannot be changed at this stage so easily. While looking at the economic scenario of Kerala, the people living over there are having abundant money which is pouring in the state due to enormous earnings of their daughters and son living abroad and on that aspect, they would least bother for small money to be given to these labours and such a culture prevailing in that region will not change within a fortnight.

  • #733656
    The practice which had attained a quasi-statutory status in Kerala now stands banned by the government order of 2018. This practice, known as gawking charges/ charges for merely looking on, by the trade unions which amounted to extortion has been declared illegal and those held responsible will be liable to be prosecuted. The trade unions in Kerala are strong unlike their counterparts in other states and they used this stature to claim loading and unloading of goods as their right. This misconception has been torn apart by the legislation that came up as a result of widespread resentment and complaints. The political parties that maintained silence on the issue due to political reasons had to submit to the rising public demand to put a stop to such illegal practices. So, as of date, 'Nokkukooli' or 'Extracting payment for a work not done' is illegal and punishable though we get to hear about some isolated incidents now and then.

    Since this practice was existing in Kerala only, as per reports, and has been declared illegal and is not existing now, I don't think there is any point in discussing the topic further. Hence this thread is being locked.

    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu


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