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

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.