Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interview of a Garment Muslim Worker of Surat


Puddan Ali

Social and economic background of the respondent

He said: I am a permanent resident of a village in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. I am a Muslim around 14 years of age. There are six members in my family. Two sisters are married. My two elder brothers are living separately while I and a brother are living with my parents. My father is a farmer and has 2 beegha of agricultural land. My brother is working as a weaver and has a small poultry. Most of the persons of my religion in my village are working as Moti sitara worker and as a weaver in Barely, Banaras and Delhi. A large number of people were working as labour in Surat before Gujarat riots. But after Gujarat communal incident more than 90 percent of the worker come back or have shifted in other Industrial cities. Now some of them have started going for the search of in Surat. I came here in December 2010 with a relative who is living there since10-15 years.
He continues: I am working as a daily wage Trainee in a grey cloth factory. The factory owner is a Muslim. He is a religious man. There are 20 adult worker and all are Muslim. While in total 4 child workers 2 child workers are Hindu and from scheduled cast (Chamar).
Wages
He said: My working hour is 12 as in other factories of Surat. I work here 15 days in day shift and 15 days in night shift. No night allowance is given to worker by factory owner. I find Rs 1600 for 12 hours duty. But including overtime work I earns around Rs 2000 in a month. I am living here in factory from the date of joining. I also work as a servant for factory owner. In the month of ‘Ramjan’ he gives gifts to every worker of his factory. Some time I also work for his family members. So some time I also find some gifts from his family members. He gives me Rs 40 per day for my food. I find my wages in first week of the month.
Working conditions
He said: There are four floors and total 60 machines in this factory. Factory premise is very noisy. This noisy atmosphere is very dangerous for those workers who are working more than 14-15 hours in peak season. Headache, Jaundice and fever are common in between workers. In peak season it affects workers on large scale. I have faces jaundice two times in four month. All four child workers stay in factory. On one hand, by staying in factory we are able to save some money but on the other hand we are bounded to work extra without any wage.
He continues: There is no facility of pure drinking water in this factory. No lunch or tea breaks is given by factory. Toilets are very dirty. All workers do their job in a standing position but factory has not provided a suitable sitting facilities. No canteen facility is here so normally we go out side for tea one by one.
He said: Overtime was not paid twice the salary. Workers are not allowed to organize themselves and to join labour unions. Although all labour unions of Surat are totally corrupt. I don’t believe in labour union activity. If I will do this type of activity I can not work here.
Monthly Income, Expenditure and savings
He said: My earning is in between Rs1600- 2000 pm. My expenditure on ration is around Rs 1000. Expenditure on remittance is in between Rs 300- 600. Expenditure on medicine, Surati, Beeri, Shop, tooth paste, Tea etc is around Rs 200-300. Normally my monthly saving is nil. 
interview taken by Devendra Pratap, mb: 09719867313 

(Interview taken by Devendra Pratap, Mb: 09719867313)

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