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Hamals of Poona

bour has worked very well over the years and that is one major reason why all is Avell with the South Asian world. A ' columnist should not hazard predictions, But one prediction seems unavoidable. When the new American President takes over in January 1977 a similar process will begin. A visit by the Indian Prime Minister to Washington or by the American President to New Delhi should not be ruled out. Our present problems with the Americans, whatever they are, are unlikely to survive the November election. Hopefully, THE hamal panchayat was formed in 1955. The story goes that, one day as some hamals were sitting outside a restaurant drinking tea, they saw the sweeper women arrive in new clothes. The women told them that they had got the clothes from the municipal corporation in response to their demand. The hamals thought, these women have made gains through forming themselves into a union. We are men, we don't have any organisation to fight for our rights. So the hamals decided to form a union. The first meeting was held in a temple. When the local political parlies saw that the hamals wanted to organise themselves, they approached them. The hamals, however, went to the INTUC office. There were no laws of protection for them. The unprotected need unions more: they need to struggle to secure legislation for the protection of their interests. Besides, the hamals were illiterate paupers whereas the traders were wealthy and able to buy off politicians. There was the distinct danger, therefore, in the early days, that the organisation would become defunct. Finally, the hamals approached Baba Adhav, u Rashtriya Seva Dal leader, and a doctor with a flourishing practice. Adhav put in much effort to build up the organisation. Over 20 years, the panchayat has organised half a dozen strikes. Some difference was made as a result to the lives of the hamals.

Hamals of Poona

on each other's fields in groups, particularly for sowing the paddy crop. The third method is that of social boycott

Hamals of Poona

While in the above case the collaboration with a known military organisation had at least been cleared by the Ministry of Defence, another project for the 'Co-ordinated Study on Infectious Hepatitis in India', also sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research, does not appear to have boon even referred to the Ministry of Defence for clearance. The procedure followed in this case reinforces the Committee's earlier concern over the lack of firm security-consciousness in the Indian agencies involved in such projects and the absence of any explicit policy frame or uniform guideline? for approving collaboration projects sponsored by foreign agencies, particularly foreign military organisations.
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