[Taken from The Hindu, as found at http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/a-ray-of-hope-for-nearly-150-employees-of-bharath-tile-factory/article8316789.ece ] :
A ray of hope for nearly 150 employees of Bharath Tile Factory
Published: March 5, 2016
In a humanitarian gesture, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH), Manipal University and Rotary Club, Manipal Town, have reached out to the nearly 150 employees of Bharath Tile Factory at Ambagilu in Udupi to assure them of a life beyond the factory following its closure on February 26.
According to a press release issued by the university here on Friday, the hapless workers, left high and dry, had nowhere to go. That’s when MCPH and Rotary stepped in to provide a ray of hope. Melvin Thomas, a postgraduate student in Sociology and Kaveri Haritas, Assistant Professor, Sociology, MCPH, made a documentary titled “Broken Tiles” which captured their last days in the factory.
The documentary was screened at the Gangubai Hanagal auditorium here on Thursday and the audience included all the workers of the factory as well. Mr. Thomas and Dr. Haritas captured every aspect of the production of roof tiles. Some employees narrated the long years they had been working together as a family.
They recalled the toil, the fun and laughter and the good times. They lamented the closure, the unsure future before them and most of all, breaking up of the “family.” It has been captured in the documentary for posterity. Suresh Amin, Union leader at the factory, spoke about the plight of the workers and their families after the screening.
The aim to make a documentary on their plight and screen it was to secure help in every possible way for these employees. For some, age is not on their side and for others their children are still in schools. Manipal University has come forward to provide them healthcare. H. Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor, assured the workers that the University would extend its medical insurance scheme.
Dr. Bhat said, “Being made aware of a difficult situation, the university cannot keep its eyes closed, it has to get involved,” he said. “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 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.
N. Udupa, Director, Research Directorate (Health Sciences), Manipal University, representing the Rotary Club, offered to contact potential employers to assist in the process of employment of the workers.