- With innovative approach Faran Sugar Mills doing every effort to secure labors during pandemic
Interview with Mr Riaz Javed Suleri — Resident Director Faran Sugar Mills Limited
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and your organization, please:
Riaz Javed Suleri: While working for the last 39 years in the sugar industry in public as well as private sector at various management positions, my main emphasis has been innovative approach, Research and Development focusing on growers’ economics, efficient and up-to-date technological advancement. All these measures ultimately resulted in better project results. Substantial increase in per hector yield in the Faran Sugar Mills operational area, biological control of pests, application of bio-compost fertilizer in the fields and latest agronomical practices are the main features.
PAGE: What measures has the industry taken amid the fear of COVID-19 pandemic?
Riaz Javed Suleri: Sugar industry was the only industry which remained almost in operation during off-season, as well as season amid COVID-19 pandemic. The lay-off was minimal and the employees were paid salaries, no doubt with the special assistance of the State Bank of Pakistan Policy in this regard.
PAGE: What precautionary measures are being taken by the laborers to contain the virus?
Riaz Javed Suleri: All possible measures were taken to cope with the virus. Special Sanitizer Gates were installed, wearing of mask remained compulsory and still being followed, Temperature testing at the entrances, as well as, for all the sugarcane growers coming for the supply of sugarcane to the mills during crushing season. Special dispensary was established, special hand washing arrangements were made at all gates and different section of the departments. Restrictions were imposed on all visitors at colony, as well as factory. All these measures resulted in timely identification of only three cases of pandemic and timely identification and isolation saved the lives of these employees also. Awareness campaign by media was a big source of tackling issue in a proper manner. Albeit the public at-large does not behave responsibly but the measures taken by industry are really appreciable and were a source of effective check on the spread of the pandemic in the remote areas. The virus is still alive and need to be seriously taken. Public awareness campaigns should be vigorously launched, vaccination and other remedial measures need to be intensified.
PAGE: Your views on the facilitation for the employees during these trying times:
Riaz Javed Suleri: Organizations can easily manage to keep the employees on roll. Adopt all measures to facilitate the employees by providing masks, temperature taking, hand washing arrangements and avoid unnecessary visitors. Restricted areas may be allocated for necessary meetings where social distancing may be practically observed.
PAGE: How would you comment on efforts taken by Pakistan to restrain the pandemic?
Riaz Javed Suleri: No doubt Government of Pakistan took certain extraordinary measures in tackling the adverse situation witnessed after the pandemic. Payment of cash to unemployed laborers in substantial number all over the country was remarkable. Media campaigns, special Corona wards, training of medics and doctors and especially the concept of ‘Smart Lockdown’ saved millions from starvation. These measures were internationally appreciated and adopted by developed countries as well.