The ever-expanding urban regions have lured workers with a promise of better life. But for those in the unorganised sector, particularly women, city life comes laden with a plethora of difficulties. The photograph of the woman worker raises several questions on working conditions and social security.
A study commissioned by the National Commission for Woman on the construction industry highlights the monstrous amount of work a woman worker does. “In concreting, it was found out that in 15 minutes, about 55 bundles, each weighing 7-8 kg, passed through the hands of women. In an eight-hour-shift, an incredible 32,000 kg would have passed through the hands of a woman. While doing earth work, women had 15 kg head load and walked 30 feet to deposit the mud … a woman would have walked about 13 km carrying about 21,000 kg of mud.”
In spite of such exhaustible work, construction workers are exploited both by the contractor, who denies them their legally mandated minimum wages, health benefits and facilities for their children, and the State which doesn’t monitor implementation.