• Wed. May 31st, 2023

‘Everyone Behaves in Brotherly Manner’: This Tamil Nadu Village is Home to Over 5,000 Migrant Workers


Mar 6, 2023

There is a popular saying ‘Vantharai Vaazha Vaikum Tamil Nadu’ which means ‘whomsoever it is, Tamil Nadu provides an opportunity for one’s livelihood’. Besides several places across the state being home to thousands of guest workers, a village in Tiruppur has provided a way of living for over 5,000 guest workers from North Indian states.

Tiruppur, an industrial city in Tamil Nadu, holds the distinction of being the most livable city in the state after Chennai. In addition to the southern regions of Tamil Nadu, migrant workers from the northern states in the country are seeking Tiruppur for their livelihood. Without making a distinction between those with and without education, Tiruppur city has a way of providing everyone employment based solely on merit.

Meanwhile, in Tiruppur city, the proportion of guest workers has risen during the last few years. Workers from the North state who work for banian companies reportedly reside in the city for almost 10 years with their families. It is also noted that hundreds of guest workers are employed with a banian company at Thilakar Nagar near Anupparpalayam in Tiruppur.

According to the migrant labourers, due to their plight, the majority of them have moved to Tiruppur as migrant workers. To be precise, workers from places like Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar claim that they send their children to work as they lack the means to pay for their education in their state.

Workers from northern states live both alone and with their families in various places in the Tiruppur district. Nonetheless, more than 5,000 migrant labourers live with their families in Paramasivampalayam hamlet, which is part of Pongupalayam panchayat, close to Perumanallur in Tiruppur. For their living, the majority of them rely on the nearby banian companies and related sectors. Apparently, in 2001, Netaji Apparel Park opened its doors near Tiruppur Perumanallur, wherein more than 60 Banian enterprises are dependent, and it employs more than 20,000 people.

“I have been living here for 12 years, together with my family. Many of my friends work at the banian company, where I own a store in the village. My children attend a neighbourhood public school. Here, we feel secure, and the schools provide a good education for our children, thus planning to reside in Tamil Nadu in future,” stated Deepak Kumar Nayak, a migrant labourer from Bihar.

Eventually, the Netaji Apparel Park is a source of income for a variety of people, including southern districts, northern states, and even foreign countries. Northern state workers settle down in Perumanallur’s neighbouring villages, such as New Tiruppur, Paramasivampalayam, and Palangarai Thirumurugan Poondi, and send their children to school to make up for the lack of job possibilities in their states.

“We have spent the last 10 to 15 years residing in Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu. We travelled here as there weren’t enough jobs in our mother states, and it is Tamil Nadu that kept us alive. We were reluctant to leave our families and community for a while. But, Tiruppur drives us to live in a way that makes us forget about all of those concerns. Everyone in this place behaves in a cordial and brotherly manner,” guest workers of Paramasivampalayam said.

Recently, some viral videos sparked a political conflict between states and created panic among migrant workers who speak Hindi in Tamil Nadu. These videos either depict instances that did not occur in the state or are unrelated to the false allegations being made, according to Tamil Nadu Police, state officials and fact-checkers.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister MK Stalin denounced the rumours on March 4 and assured employees that their safety was guaranteed in the state.

The BJP spokesperson for Uttar Pradesh Prashant Patel Umrao along with a Tamil Nadu-based local newspaper owner has been charged by the Tamil Nadu Police for disseminating fake news on guest workers on March 4. Subsequently, on March 5, Chennai Police booked BJP Tamil Nadu Chief Annamalai under 4 sections for spreading rumours about the migrant worker’s issue.

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