The COVID 19 Pandemic has created an economic crisis that continues to snowball. Key issues related to health, food security, and migrant distress remain unaddressed. The daily wage worker in the unorganized sector today is the largest affected community, forced into the most dehumanizing, humiliating, and life-threatening situations. With mounting rent, debts, food insecurity, loss of livelihoods, the daily wager in cities especially has no choice but to work at slashed wages, change occupations, and/or struggle to find work. Street vendors, micro-businesses had sunk during the lockdown period.
The sporadic lockdown further marginalizes the poorest, snatching away their livelihoods. With closed schools and Anganwadis, food insecurity for children is mounting. The risk of Maternal & Child Mortality is at an all-time high with limited health services. With zero social security assistance from the government, it’s only civil society that provides relief support. Small businesses and daily wagers need financial & socio-legal support to see them through the period of crisis. To date, there is no point in the community connect & information for daily wage workers, except for the Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra supported by civil society groups.
We propose to extend the concept of the Mazdoor Sahyog Centre to cover key labour points in the city of Bhopal responding to the information and socio-legal needs of daily wage workers. The Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra is a basti / ward level centre for information, communication, and action for daily wage workers. Some of the primary processes include:
- Enumeration of daily wage workers in different locations through a field study
- Survey and Registration of the Workers with information about the work sector, wages, hours, source/destination points, issues faced, documentation of accessibility to schemes, and services among others.
- Counseling / Resolving issues
- Hold Social Protection Camps to reach out with information about schemes and entitlements and offer documentation support.
- Information about Labour Laws, Rights, and Entitlements, building affiliations to unions or labour collectives
- Organized, collective action as and where required.
- Identify and build capacities of youth volunteers from the workers’ community to manage the centres
- Provide livelihood support by sharing information about work opportunities
- Assist in skills development, support entrepreneurship, encourage women to set up their businesses by providing small loans
Through the Mazdoor Sahyog Kendras we hope to:Through the Mazdoor Sahyog Kendras we hope to:
- Develop a prototype of a Centre for Information, Financial Aid, Socio-Legal Support, and Communication for the Daily Workers community thereby providing them a safeguard from the looming economic crisis.
- Build a base of Volunteer youth from the Workers Community who will take up community development roles
- Build a database of daily wage workers to advocate for their rights, entitlements.
- Enable various other field researches around the daily wagers community to bring about an increased awareness about their marginalization and impact government response to the community.
- Enhance access to information and resources for an improved quality of life.
- Provide inputs and Impact work done by civil society groups who engage with daily wager communities