Anand Pagare is a media activist working in one of the most sensitive areas in the country, Malegaon. A boiling pot of communal strife, the town is in the constant grip of violence and religious tensions, but while these stories are picked up by the mainstream press, there are still atrocities that happen under the radar. Anand, born into a…
Malegaon, the city of power looms runs on the manpower provided by the sweat and blood of 1.5lakh of the lowliest paid workers in the country.
Abdul Basir has been working as a millworker for the past decade. He is paid per bundle for the thread that he rolls. Every bundle nets him Rs.100/-. It takes 2 days for him to roll out a single bundle. He earns about Rs.50/- a day.
His bosses say that each bundle consists of around 100 meters of thread. But Abdul and other millworkers know that it can easily go up to 120 meters. They have never been paid for the extra thread. Per bundle it is.
It may seem like good times. The demand for cloth has increased. The looms are powered day in and day out. The mill owners have been getting richer by the day. Malegaon is looking more and more like an upcoming flashy little town.
But between their hard work, bottom barrel pay and rising cost of basic living, the workers continue to be squeezed into poverty. There has been talk of a trickle down but no one has seen it happen. Prosperity continues to feed only itself.
Abdul has been doing the same hard work for the past 10 years. The amount he takes home after a long hard day at the mill has remained the same. Only, he keeps getting poorer. It has gotten difficult to send his children to school. Even putting food on the table is proving hard.
Malegaon looks into the future even as the millworker and his family have been left behind.
Call to Action: Please call the Labour Minister on 0899100004 and pressurise him to ensure that the labourers are paid by the metre and not the bundle.
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