On Wednesday 25 December, Minister Nitin Raut wrote to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray requesting him to address the issue of 30,000 women sugarcane workers undergoing hysterectomy so as to not lose their daily wages.
He mentioned that the Marathwada region in central Maharashtra has the highest number of sugarcane workers, most of them women.
Seeking the CM’s help to take necessary steps on humanitarian grounds, Raut said that a large number of women prefer staying back home during menstrual cycles thereby losing out on their wages for days. As an alternative, they opt for removing their uterus.
Raut added that the women labourers will not undergo surgery if they are paid for the four days of the menstrual cycle.
Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut: Thousands of women sugarcane labourers from Beed&Osmanabad have undergone uterus removal surgery. It's saddening as they did so to avoid few days' wage loss. I've requested CM to address their grievances. Govt will certainly find solution to it. pic.twitter.com/RQH5BcJYBs
— ANI (@ANI) December 25, 2019
Many women have admitted that menstruation hinders their work and so uterus removal surgery has become a norm in their village in Beed.
Contractors draw up contracts with the husband and wife counted as one unit. Cane cutting is a rigorous process and if the husband or wife takes a break for a day, the couple has to pay a fine of Rs. 500 per day to the contractor for every break, a report in The Hindu Business Line reveals.
Reports further highlight that contractors in the labour market prefer women’s without a womb. As a result, over 13,000 sugarcane migrant labourers have undergone the process of removing their uterus in Beed, an inquiry revealed in August 2019.
“We found that due to early marriage and repetitive childbirths women in the area face several health issues including infections etc. and instead of getting right treatment for such health issues, the women tend to go for hysterectomy to end the health issues, ” Dr Neelam Gorhe deputy chairperson of the Maharashtra legislative council had told the media.