He said: I am a permanent resident of a village in Kushi Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. I am a Hindu and from scheduled cast. My father is an agricultural labourer in my village. I have three brothers and two sisters. All are uneducated. My two elder brothers are living separately while I himself, one brother and two sisters are living jointly with our parents. He continues: My father is searching a suitable person for my sister’s marriage. He wants to do her marriage as earliest possible. My brother is a patient of polio so he can not work. His both legs are completely paralyzed. My father has taken a loan of Rs.5000 from a relative for my brother’s treatment. In these circumstances my father sends me here for some earning with a relative.
Forced to work in a Dying factory
He said: My relative is a contract worker in Luthara Dying, GIDC, Pandesara. He is working here since 5 years. This is a very big factory. More than 2000 workers are working here but except very few (10-20) of them are permanent. My first joining was in Luthara Dying. It was August or September 2009 when I join this factory as a helper. In February 2010 I was expelled by this factory. Now I am working in Creative processors Pvt Ltd. I also live in factory. There are 4 other child workers who are living in factory.
He said: I find Rs 40 for 12 hour duty. Contractor also gives Rs 25 per day for food. I am engaged here as a helper (trainee). I work all the day of the month. My duty is 8 am to 8 pm. But some time I also work without any wage for second shift. There are more than 20-30 child workers are working in different departments of the factory. Women workers working hour is 8 not 12. I have listened that some girls (child workers) find as daily payment Rs.30 for 8 hours. There is no difference between the work of a helper and a skilled worker. Although I accept it that child workers are not a trained worker but you can not justify the gap between a helper’s salary and a skilled workers salary. A skilled workers salary is Rs.4800 for 12 hours. It is six times greater than my salary. An adult women workers salary (for 8 hours) is Rs 3500.
He said: Most of the members in management belong from Surat or from other places of Gujarat. Supervisor is also a Gujarati person. He uses child workers as a tool of production. But a child worker is not only exploited by factory Supervisors, Managers, and masters but also by skilled workers.
He said: Actually 12 hour duty is too tough for a child worker and also for an adult worker. This is why an adult worker wants to take more work from a child worker. Another factor is that managers of all departments maintain a pressure upon supervisors for completion of work in a definite time. This is why role of a supervisor being inhuman for workers.
He continues: I am not only aware of about my work but I always tried to complete my work best. But some time when Supervisor abuses and beats me and creates pressure upon me, I got confused. But he can not understand my problem. A ‘production fear’ has entered deeply in my heart. Child workers who are living in factory have no freedom. We are living in Jail. I take my food out side the factory. Workers have no extra time for lunch and tea.
He said: There is a lack of clean drinking water in factory. Most of the child workers living in factory are facing problem of dysentery. Typhoid Malaria and Dysentery are common problem in between us. Normally a child worker, who is living in factory, does not find any leave in case of illness. Supervisor never believes us that we are telling true. I never take my full diet because Rs 25 is not sufficient. I take lunch and dinner in Rs 25. I never take breakfast. At this time I am sending Rs 700 to my parents. If I live in slums I can not send this money.
(Interview taken by Devendra Pratap, mb: 9719867313)