Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interview of a child labour in Garment Industry of Surat


Surender kumar
Surrender is a boy of 13 years of age and is working in Niharika Mills pvt ltd, since one year. He is Hindu and from the scheduled cast. He went to school up to 5th standered and dropped out after that, because his mother wanted him to work. This meant that his school days were over as he was compelled to work in Dying and Printng Factory in Surat. He can not play around any more. His work consists of assisting the skilled worker and all kinds of other small jobs in this factory.
He said: The factory together with hundreds of other factories is located in the slum area of Pandesara, Surat. I am living in this slum with my parents. My parents are also working in the same factory and carry out the process of dyeing. My parents are illiterate. My monthly earning is Rs.800 while my father earns Rs 5000 and my mothers earning is Rs 2500 per month. Our average daily working hour is 12. But this work is not a regular source our income. When factory owner have less orders, he compelled out most of the workers of his factory.
He said: I give my monthly Income to my father. I get some pocket money from my mother. I spend that money on Pan- Beeri and Gutkha. Some time I work in the night shifts also. But my wages are same as in day shifts. Supervisor scolds me always because I do not work hard according to his expectations.
He said: There are 13 more children (9 boys and 4 girls) working in the same factory. We all are friends. When I started working in this factory I got a bad typhoid. But now I don’t care all of these.
He said: Our work place is full of dust and fumes. There is always a possibility of injuries to workers. Factory owner has not made effective arrangements for the disposal of the industrial waste. Factory owner sells most of the industrial waste to sub-contractors and Kabaries. Till the selling, all waste is dumped in the compound of the factory or at work place.
He said: Most of the workers families are facing burden of debts. Some of them take loan on some Interests from money lenders. Some time a factory worker also gives loan to their colleagues for earning some profit in the form of Interests. This is a common tendency in factory workers of Surat.
He said: Many families need money for costs of an illness, to provide a dowry to marry off another child, or simply to put food on the table.
He said: My grandfather and grandmother are living in my village. Both are old and helpless. So my father always tried to send them some money (around Rs1000) every month. My uncle is living with him but we have no source of income except a very small piece of land.
He said: My factory find work from some big merchants of Surat. Merchant find orders from byers and agents of different export Garment companies. I do not know the name of company for which I am working.
He said: There are more than 1000 workers in this factory. Most of them are belongs from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Except 10-12 workers all are engaged by factory through contractor. Permanent workers have some rights (PF, ESI etc.) but contract workers have no right in this factory. None of us find ESI, PF and other benefits.
(Interview taken by Devendra Pratap, mb: 09719867313, mail id: devhills@gmail.com)

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