Call for support to mill workers struggle – Azad maidan on 20th March

Dear friends
As you know there has been a long running battle being fought by the thousands of mill workers who lost their jobs and their community in Central Mumbai. Although Girangaon is practically being swallowed up, the workers have succeeded in winning a small part of the area back.
But the struggle continues. On the 20th they will sit on a continuous dharna at Azad maidan to focus on their demands. 3000 workers are expected to sit in the indefinite dharna, from Mumbai as well as rural Maharashtra and AP. They need the support of the city in the struggle.

The most important victory for the mill workers in this phase was that their right over a part of the mill lands was recognized, and they were promised housing and alternate jobs, all of which was meant to save the area known as Girangaon, and therefore the identity, heritage and ethos of Mumbai. It was also an important gain in principle for the entire city, which was also to get 1/3 of the land. However the govt and the mill owners drastically cut down the size land that was due under the 1/3 formula by applying it only to ‘vacant land’ in the mill premises. This even though mill oweners were already being given equal land beyongd the island city, in FSI.

The government is yet to distribute the 8000 tenements that MHADA has built- there is no agreement yet on the number of houses that must be built and the cost of those houses.
The workers are fighting for the houses to be given to them att he cost of construction, and that there must be enough for everyone- ie 1, 20, 000 mill workers who have filled in the applications and are bonafide candidates.

The fight includes the handing over of land to the city for open spaces, and affordable housing. The mill owners and the NTC have to at least honour the existing law, and the government has to be made accountable to the citizens of Mumbai.

Please come to Azad Maidan anytime after 11 am on the 20th March, and thereafter.

The struggle also needs financial support. Please make cheques (try and make a minimum contribution of Rs 1000) in the name of ‘GIRNI KAMGAR SANGHARSH SAMITI” and courier it to

7/61 Modern Mills compound, KK Marg, Saat Rasta, Mumbai-400 011.

Pl forward to others you think might be able to contribute.

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