She said: I am a permanent resident of a village in district Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh). I came here in November 2009. I am living here with my husband. I have three daughters. Elder daughter is studying in class 5th while two others are studying in class 2nd and 3rd. My husband is working as a contract worker in a Printing and Dying factory. My husband’s monthly earning is near about Rs 4000. My husbands family is a poor peasant family so, my husband send an amount of Rs 500-800 pm to his parents. That’s why I decided to work in factory for some earning. I am working in Aditya textiles industries, Hira Modi Street, Surat.
She continued: When I came here my husband health was very bad. He is a very responsible person but not careful about his health. He always tried to make more money for his family. That’s why he worked overtime without any leave. At that time his monthly earning was around Rs 6000. All persons in family were very happy with him. But this fact was in my knowledge that he is loosing his health.
She said: Actually I have three daughters and no son. My family and also my husband don’t like it. I always feel a guilty in this case. After all I decided to come here and work in factory for some earning. Now my husband’s health is better than earlier. I am happy to see it. I also gained some confidence when I see that there are thousands of women worker’s working in different factories like me. I also know some widow women workers who are working here for their livelihood. Now I never feel alone. My husband is also happy with me. Now we are working for our children’s education and for their future.
Working hour and Salary
She said: Presently my husband has convinced with me to not work overtime so often. My earning is Rs 2500 for 8 hour duty. I am working here since one year. There is a difference between the salary of women worker and men worker. A contract men worker’s salary is around Rs 4000 who is working from one year. Contractor said that this is because men workers duty hour is 12. Actually contractor knows it that a women worker never protests against it so he is exploiting us.
Exploitation as a women worker
She said: Actually most of the persons working in my factory are male. So there is a male dominated environment in my factory. In some factories of Surat mainly in Dying factories where in total workers 40-50 percent workers are females, there you find less cases of women worker exploitation. Although, there is no union activity in printing and dyeing factories. Actually contractors are main exploiters. They are very decivilize person. She always nips girls. Many time he charged for defloration. But we do nothing because we are not organized.
She continued: Girl child workers are not safe here in factories. So, mostly girl child workers are working in same factories where their parents are working. Their salary is very low in comparison of male workers.
She said: I find no leave except weakly. There are more up to 500 male and female workers are in this factory. While are up to 50. There is no crèche facility in my factory. Women worker does not find the facility of the maternity leave. I have no proof of employment. Two register is maintained by the company. One register is maintained for workers and second one is for legal purposes. Actually labour department as well as Modi government as against the right of women workers. All are poppet of the industrialist. So they never take any action against such industries.
(Interview taken by Devendra Pratap, Mb: 09596833370, mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org)