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Invisible, exploited: Home-workers of Agra’s footwear industry

By Aakash Mehrotra

Agra turns out 250,000 pairs of shoes every day. Most of them are made by invisible home-workers at the bottom of the global supply chain, who earn as little as Rs 30 a pair


The potential for transformation through MGNREGS

By Siraj Dutta

In Kuira, effective people’s planning and monitoring at the panchayat level has ensured the completion of several useful public works under MGNREGS, quick payment of wages, and a substantial fall in distress migration from the village


State, markets and civil society have failed migrant workers

India’s growth story rides on the distress migration of the poor and yet this large and growing segment of our population is completely overlooked, says Rajiv Khandelwal, founder of Aajeevika Bureau. In this interview Khandelwal suggests a possible course of civil society action and state policy for migrant workers


Island women find freedom from four walls

By Candace Rose Rardon

In Mahinsa, an island village on Orissa’s Chilika Lake, new collective livelihood and self-help groups have helped women begin cultivating crabs for export, supplementing family incomes and giving the women a sense of ownership and purpose


Duped and exploited: Orissa's migrant workers

By Sudarshan Chhotray

Close to 2 million people migrate out of Orissa in search of work every year. Only 50,000 of them are registered with the authorities, making it difficult to protect these desperate migrants from tricksters and exploitative employers


Trafficking is big business along the Indo-Bangladesh border

By Usha Rai

Prostitution has become a booming business on the 151-km India-Bangladesh border. Many of the women, abandoned by husbands or trafficked across the porous border, have entered the trade and continue in it because it provides a steady income. Clearly, the challenge is rehabilitation, not rescue


Papamma's victory marks a milestone in the domestic workers' struggle

By Anuja Mirchandaney

Papamma, a domestic worker in Bangalore, took her employers to court and managed to receive a favourable judgment. This is a historic victory for perhaps the most vulnerable segment of unorganised workers, made possible by the support of a trade union, a dedicated team of advocates and a labour officer who adjudicated objectively


Transferring 26% of mining profits to local populations

The Indian government is thinking about giving local people a stake in the resources mined from their area by offering them 26% equity or payout of profits. But will government implement profit-sharing any more effectively than it implements the rehabilitation of the displaced?


Hope for domestic workers?

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Karnataka was the first to notify minimum wages and working conditions for domestic labour. But in the six years since, not a single complaint about non-payment of minimum wages has been filed. A recent public hearing in Bangalore proposed several other measures to ensure that domestic workers are not exploited


Yellow metal blues

By Ritusmita Biswas

Despite being employed in the glamorous billion-dollar gold industry, India’s gold jewellery workers work long hours in inhuman conditions and are barely able to make ends meet. Indeed, many gold workers in Kolkata have left their trade in disgust to become rickshaw-pullers and vegetable vendors. Is this the end of the road for this traditional craft?