Reimagining urban housing for those who have always worked from home -Shalini Sinha & Malavika Narayan
In absence of any overarching policy protecting them, home-based workers are one of the worst affected in the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 41.85 million workers in India work from their homes as home-based producers. They have always done so, even before the pandemic. The poor quality of their homes and the deficits in housing and urban infrastructure policies have grave economic consequences for them, which are being exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.
At this moment, when work-from-home has grabbed the attention of the policymakers and the general public, we advocate for the cause of these millions of home-based workers, many of them women, who contribute valuable products and services to domestic and global markets. Let us use the present moment to enable and promote better living and working conditions for a large number of vulnerable and often invisible home-based workers of India.
The new norm
Work from home is the new norm in Covid-19 times. Beginning as an essential response to the pandemic, it is now touted as possibly a long-term shift in work culture and organisation. Social media is overflowing with reflections on this change in the place of work and what it entails. But continuing to exist, shrouded in a cloak of invisibility, are a group of workers, many of them women and almost all informal, who have always worked from their own homes.
Defined as workers who undertake productive employment from within their own homes or premises around their homes, there are around 41.85 million home-based workers in India. A combination of care burden, restrictions on movement and limited livelihood opportunities force more women to take it up.
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Scroll.in, 30 August, 2020, https://scroll.in/article/971621/reimagining-urban-housing-for-those-who-have-always-worked-from-home?fbclid=IwAR0N4wOkWkKkctNpf3rpDArBoQUVdXHAUDfeLJQrECNiQPHvuXOW425Eva8