Skip to main content

Delhi's Narola industrial area testimonies: 'If we pay rent, we won’t be able to eat at all'

Counterview Desk
A relief team consisting of several civil society organizations and volunteers provided monetary assistance to the families of factory workers living in the Narela Industrial Area, North Delhi. The team was provided free ration by the Delhi government, consisting 350 kg of wheat flour and 180 kg of pulses, which was also distributed among some of families.
The interacted with the people living in the area and got to know about the deplorable working conditions they have been subjugated to under the current post-lockdown phase.

A note:

The Narela Industrial Area in North Delhi has 3500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The labour laws have been and continue to be blatantly violated and abused here. The workers here work for 10-12 hours a day, but earn much less than the minimum wage set up by the government.
Covid-19-induced lockdown has forced many living in the slums of the area to begging. Here are few excerpts from the interactions:
Radha is from Kaulambi Delhi with Five kids and no one too earn except her. She has been able to eat and provide food to her children from begging. She has no ration/ aadhaar card and therefore wasn’t entitled to any help which was being provided by the government authorities. She used to work in the factory. Since opening of factories, she has been searching for work but no one is hiring any worker. 
Sheila Devi hails from Munger, Bihar, and has been living in Delhi from past 20 years. She used to work as a daily wage labourer and says she “will do any work to survive”. She tells us that she received Flour from the govt. but there is no facility of water, either for drinking or for any purpose.
The workers here work for 10-12 hours a day, but earn much less than the minimum wage set up by the government
Billo, a single mother of Six Girls used to make a living by selling toys. Since Covid-19-induced lockdown, her work has completely stopped. She says she has no money left with her to buy toys from shops as the lockdown is ending to sell and be able to earn.
Geeta Devi, a homemaker, lives with her husband a kid. Her husband was the sole bread-earner of the family and used to earn in cycle company. Her family income has vanished completely. When asked how they will survive, She responds “Kam milega to khaega” (we will eat when we get some work).
Durga Devi along with her family of five kids and husband migrated from Madhubani, Bihar, to Delhi six months before in search of work. Her husband started working in a hotel. However, his work stopped after the lockdown. He tried getting employment in factories nearby but fell sick working after a few days.
Rajkumar Singh hails from Darbhanga, Bihar, and used to work in footwear factory. He lives with his wife, son, daughter in law and grandchildren. He tells us that they are being repeatedly asked by the landlord to pay rent of the room they live in. He says, “Kiraya denge to jo thoda bohot kha paa rahe hain vo bhi nahi ho paega” (if we pay rent, we won’t be able to eat whatever little we can eat now).
---
*Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch, National Alliance of People's Movement, Ambedkarwadi Lekhak Sangh, Delhi Solidarity Group, Magadh Foundation, Rehabilitation Research Initiative, Natt Ghumakkad Samaj Kalyan Samiti, National Domestic Workers Union with the support of Delhi Forum, SRUTI, Helping Hands Charitable Trust

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.