In Bengaluru, daily wage labourers are struggling to get even 10 days of work in a month -Chethan Ranganath

GST and demonetisation continue to hurt the livelihoods of workers in India’s IT hub.

Kurubarahalli is a congested corner of India’s technology capital, packed with narrow roads, alleys, heavy traffic, shops and darshinis, as small self-service eateries are called here. The area starts humming with activity as early as 7.30 am.

Among the first to arrive at the labour hub here are daily wagers seeking employment. On any working day you can see 1,000-1,500 workers waiting to be picked up for jobs, mostly as plumbers, painters, carpenters and masons. Women search for jobs as helpers, mixing concrete or moving bricks.

Labour contractors arrive here on motorcycles or auto-rickshaws to pick up the day’s supply of workers, most of whom they know by face. The official minimum wage for a skilled worker is Rs 600 a day for men and Rs 300 for women. By noon, those who can will have found a job, and by 2 pm the labour hub will have emptied out.

Among those waiting at Kurubarahalli for cleaning and plastering jobs was Swamy, 36. He migrated to Bengaluru five years ago from Pandavapura in Mandya district, 130 km southwest of the capital city. An illiterate man, he wanted to earn enough to provide a good “convent” education for his three daughters, one of whom is physically challenged and in need of constant care.

Swamy must now be satisfied with two to three days of work a week. “Even that is a blessing,” he said.

Please click here to read more., 4 May, 2019,

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