ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rapeseed Oil Tragedy-Cause for Concern

through these various tanks, and then it is sent to the drying machine. This is a huge drum on which many lengths of cloth are wound around. It slowly unwinds and travels along a 50 or 60 foot long belt to be wound up on another drum again. During this journey, it is stretched tight along the belt and passes over a bed of coal-embers. A wheel with teeth was attached by a handle to the big drum and a young boy was turning it by throwing his entire weight on it. He looked like someone turning the sugar-cane juice machine but a machine much heavier than that, demanding his utmost strength and more. More like a bullock. Caught between the heat of the live coals and the mountain of unending work. One such who had left that job after some time told me: "No one lasts more than a couple of weeks at the drum. The latest arrival who can't get any other work take this on and then runs away in a few days. You get 10 minutes off every half an hour and may be a bit more if there are two of you. That's ally THE OWNERS 1 was visiting the homes of every loom- owner in the settlement, accompanied by Maruti Shinde, a CPI(M) worker One of his acquaintances stopped us at the entrance of one home and asked what I was doing. Maruti introduced us. His name was Karajge Diwanji. About fifty, plump, in a crumpled dhoti and shirt, grey stubble on his chin. He seemed eager to talk. Maruti told me he owned some looms. "Hah, Own!", he laughed bitterly. "How many looms do you own?" "Four". "Where did you get the capital to start them?" "Don't ask! I was a school teacher, then became a diwanji in a firm, then I hocked my little bit of land, sold my wife's 'mangalsutra' and bought this trouble!' "Trouble?" "Yes. Trouble. Horror. Mess. I do nothing but pimp all day long and for what? For nothing. I told my workers: don't call me master any more. Even my wife doesn't!" All the listeners, including the women, laughed at this and this seemed to egg him on because he raised his voice and said, "Yes! which women will call a penniless man a master? I can't bring home the bread. She says

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