Hope floats for tile workers after film shines light on their plight

Hope floats for tile workers after film shines light on their plight

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-03-04 19:36 Udupi: Following the closure of Bharath Tile Factory, Manipal University and Rotary Club, Manipal, have decided to extend medical insurance scheme and help find employment to the near-150 employees who have been rendered jobless. The humanitarian gesture of the university was made possible due to a documentary made by the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH). Melvin Thomas and Dr Kaveri Haritas, Assistant Professor, Sociology, at the Centre for Philosophy and Humanities made a documentary titled “Broken Tiles” which captured the workers' last days in the factory. The documentary was screened at the Gangubai Hanagal auditorium on Thursday and the audience included all the factory workers as well.  Some employees narrated their years of toil at the factory and lamented the closure. Suresh Amin, union leader at the factory, spoke about the plight of the workers and their families after the screening. Moved by their plight, Manipal University has come forward to provide them with health care. Dr H Vinod Bhat, Vice-Chancellor, assured the workers that the University would extend its medical insurance scheme. Dr Bhat said, “Having been made aware of a difficult situation, the university cannot keep its eyes closed, it has to get involved,” he said. This isn’t the end of the problem, he warned. “There are more things we need to address, in terms of rescaling the people, creating at least one person within the family who becomes gainfully employed, and taking care of education in these families... It’s a lot of work, let this dialogue not end here, it’s only the beginning,” he said. Students of the MCPH will co-ordinate a community project and for that they will organise a camp on March 13 at the Bharath Tile factory to collect required information and documents from workers to enable rehabilitation. Dr. N Udupa, Director, Research Directorate (Health Sciences), Manipal University, representing the Rotary Club (Manipal Town), offered to contact potential employers to assist in the process of employment.