ISSN (O) : 2584-1378





India has 66% of its population who are under the age of 26, the highest percentage in the world. India is a rising nation with a booming economy and 808 million workers by 2023.These sectors, such as the primary sector, secondary sector, and tertiary sector, are used to categorise the workforce in India. The segment of secondary labourers includes the beedi workers.  


Beedi workers merely refers to those who are involved in the production of beedi; the phrase is not defined in the legislation. The term “beedi” refers to the act of smoking raw tobacco that has been wrapped with tendu leaves. Beedis are often known as “poor man’s cigarettes.” When the British first began to grow tobacco, there is evidence of beedi rolls being made in India. Beedi is primarily known throughout all of India, especially in Gujarat and the Nipani region in Karnataka’s Belgaum District, where premium beedi tobacco is being produced. The beedi is often created by hand since those who are skilled at making it from generation to generation can do it quickly and produce a high-quality final product. 90% of the employees are often women who live in rural regions and need to provide for their children. Their kids work rolling beedis. Because the labourers lack literacy, the contractor who assigned them the assignment has taken advantage of them. The beedi employees receive their pay on a daily or weekly basis since it is mostly based on the number of beedi rolls. The earnings are quite low even though they work very hard and desire to make money here.   


Asthma, bronchitis, and other lung-related illnesses are having an impact on the beedi workers. Every day they labour on the tobacco leaves, which has an impact on their entire bodies. They must guarantee leaves for their jobs, but the majority of them don’t take any because it is their main source of income. The family would be without food if they are unemployed for even one day. Every human has a fingerprint that serves as their unique identification; however, twins cannot share the same fingerprint. In this case, beedi workers’ fingerprints are fading as a result of their continuous production of beedi rolls, making them less useful for the biometric system today.


The Beedi and Cigar employees (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 deals with the beedi employees. The 1976 Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act and the Beedi Workers Welfare Cess Act. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, passed in 1966, makes regulations for the remuneration and working conditions of beedi workers who are employed in industrial settings. The licence must be obtained by the employer from the appropriate authority and renewed each fiscal year. The term “home worker” refers to any labourwho is provided raw materials by an employer or a contractor to be converted into beedi, cigars, or both at home. This definition is found in Section 2(f)(1) of the Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966. The laws pertaining to beedi and cigar employees are now included in Part V of the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code, 2020, which replaced the Beedi and Cigar employees (Conditions of Employment) Act of 1966. The RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana, which was introduced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2008 but is currently administered by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, is open to beedi workers because they are highly unorganised sector employees. The programme is a form of national health insurance that the federal government offers. 


The following is a list of the issues beedi workers face.

  • The failure to uphold statutory rights.
  • A lack of security.
  • They do not receive the money that the government has supplied.
  • Lack of a specified health insurance plan.
  • The provident fund would be offered to beedi employees.
  • They receive no fair compensation.
  • Lack of education for their daughters and the women who work there.

The beedi workers are dying on the job every year, thus a welfare fund for them needed to be established, and the official in charge of doing so should concentrate on carrying out the state and federally mandated welfare programmes for them. They should get the provident fund, health insurance, and other treatments that would enhance their quality of life because they are the ones who have been most negatively impacted. The workers’ children must also receive an education since they need to be aware of their rights and the programmes designed to improve their life.  The women who work live in rural areas, where the government must find ways to improve their standard of living. Because there are nearly 5 million workers involved in this, their lives are in grave danger from disease. Their poverty and lack of other employment opportunities are the primary causes of their employment. Despite the fact that they are producing the beedi rolls while working at home. The contractors have unavoidably set up safety precautions like offering gloves and masks. The employer is responsible for the safety of the employees who are doing work-related duties on industrial property if they are engaged there. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 sets down the rights, working conditions, and leave provisions for employees who work in industries. In order to educate people on their rights and freedoms, which are protected by the Indian Constitution and other laws, the government should offer an awareness programme. Reading and writing instruction should be provided expressly for women employees, since this will have an impact on their everyday lives and start to influence how their children learn. In order for the next generation to leave this industry, advance to a higher level, beyond the poverty line, and so forth, the ladies must learn to read and write.Their social position can be levelled via education.


Due of their poverty, lack of education, and ignorance of their rights and liberties, the beedi workers produce the beedi rolls. The proper government should concentrate on raising awareness and developing welfare programmes for the employees who lack literacy. It is the government’s exclusive responsibility to educate these employees. Every person deserves respect and equality because they have the right to live in dignity, which no member of the public should ever violate.

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