A Chair on Labour Research named after noted labour leader and former state president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Alampalli Venkataram, was instituted in Bengaluru University recently. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa inaugurated the function organised by the University.
Bengaluru University Vice Chancellor N Prabhudev said the Chair was set-up to encourage research on labour issues and to submit a vision document to the government. Some of the areas to be studied are child labour, labour laws, labour markets, etc. Reports would be submitted to the government for implementation, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Chair was the second in the country for labour studies after VV Giri Chair in Noida, and the first in southern region. He pointed out that he has allocated Rs one crore in the previous budget for the Chair. If required the government would increase the allocation to Rs five crore. The main intention was to help improve the condition of labourers, a dream of Alampalli Venkataram. He recalled Venkataram’s association with the RSS and pointed out that he had good relations with organisations, leaders and those subscribing to other ideologies.
Legislative Council Chairman DH Shankaramurthy said the incumbent of such a Chair should focus on training labourers on various aspects. Higher Education Minister, Arvind Limbavali suggested that the studies on the plight of those working in software industries and affiliated sectors, including cab drivers, who have to work during odd hours to suit the timings of their clients, must also be made. Leaders from different labour unions attended the programme.
ALLAMPALLI R.VENKATRAM, S/o Late Allampalli Ramswamaiah, aged about 78 years (18.06.1931) completed his B.Com in the year 1955 and spent his whole life to the cause of workers welfare for the past 51 years. He is a bachelor, devoted himself to the cause of the society. He has participated in Jammu and Kashmir Sathyagraha for the full integration of Kashmir with the Bharat in the year 1953 which was headed by Late Dr.Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, on an account of which he was imprisoned for 3 months jail in Delhi Tihar Jail and Firozpur jail of Punjab. In 1948 he participated in RSS sathyagraha against the ban imposed on it and was in jail for 3 months. Again in 1975-76 for almost the entire period of emergency he was detained under MISA in Bangalore Jail and Gulbarga Central jail as he offered sathyagraha to protest against the curtailment of trade union rights by the then Prime Minister Smt.Indira Gandhi. He has attended Industrial Relation Course for overseas trade unionists under Colombo plan which was 3 ½ month course at London and Belgium. He was the member of Central Board of trustees of provident Fund for 20 years up to July 2008. He was a member of the Regional Board of ESIC. It is because of his relentless struggle the finance Ministry yielded to pay higher interest on savings.
He stoutly opposed handing over hard earned savings of workers in PF to private agencies for investment. He was also instrumental in getting cost of living allowances to unorganized workers. He fought up to Supreme Court in 1984. Prior to this, there was no dearness Allowance to workers in unorganized sector so that price rise could be neutralized.
He devoted his entire life in the cause of workers welfare. In his demise the working classes of Karnataka have lost a leader who empathized with their causes. Alampalli Venkataraman passed away on January 18, 2009 at Bangalore.