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Sunday, 13 January 2008

An Accident in the Neighborhood

With the demolition work going on without any engineers or supervisors involved, just goading people to "finish" work as much as they can for a measly some of less than 80 INR per day (a little less than 2 USD), one of the younger workers, probably a person less than 15 years of age fell down. Lucky for him he didn't have major bruises, but had to taken to the casualty ward at CMH (Chinmaya Mission Hospital.) A passer-by almost got under the debris but was just a few seconds away. It was nothing short of a miracle that no one was badly injured.

After a long conversation with the workers (with the supervisor and the owner of the house conveniently absent from the site), I found that this was a clear case of labour exploitation against the labour laws of India. Furthermore, the supervisor (or contractor as they refer to him, although there is really no binding contract) has been telling them that if anyone were to be harmed, the "exploited workers" would be held responsible.

Part of the problems to humanity are created by being insensitive to what happens within one's circle of influence. Today I have made sure that I enough people concerned with the problem have been informed. I can only take this one step at a time. The first step is to ensure that those who are working for two square meals a day, have a life to live after they finish this.

After safety, I shall evaluate and take up my concerns on their exploitation.
This might be a more endemic and deeper problem that cannot be addressed in too small a context. I end this day on a happy note that I have done something however infinitesimal (and irritating to some) to make life better for some others whom I have had no prior knowledge of.