Hyderabad, Oct 28 : Hyderabad-based National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) in its study report revealed that unsafe working conditions along with child labour are one of the major concerns which is to be addressed in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
The NIRDPR study focused on the working conditions and socio-economic status of the migrant population in the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Poor and unskilled people from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka move to Tamil Nadu while Uttar Pradesh tends to attract poor migrants from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, the study which was published in the National Journal of Labour and Industrial Law, recently said.
Seasonal migrant labourers constitute an important component of the workforce in granite quarries in Tamil Nadu and are mostly employed to do bottom-end tasks that are highly risky that the local labourers may not be willing to undertake them.
It said that most of the workers engaged in stone quarry works are from backward castes and Scheduled Castes and they account for 77.3 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
Migrant labour makes major contributions to the Indian economy, with the construction sector being one of the largest employers in India with approx. 40 million migrants, the study said.
Migrants are often faced with a lot of difficulties in getting the necessary government services including access to good education, basic amenities and more. When it comes to women, the condition is even more difficult.
Long term binding contracts through loans and wage advances is a widely prevalent labour hiring practice in the granite quarrying industry in both Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, it said that the labour conditions are slightly better in quarries operated by State-owned companies.
During the field visits made to the quarries in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, NIRDPR found that most of the quarries were not following any safety guidelines.
Workers were observed working without any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many workers claimed that they are not provided with any safety equipment except for during labour inspections. Children were seen working with their bare hands with hammers and sieves.
The study which highlighted the dynamics of people movement, their contribution to the local as well as to National development, also said that one of the major issues was the prevalence of the Child Labour in stone quarries.
In addition, the study also found various health hazards that these people face due to poor living and working conditions.
The migrant labourers become prone to various respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis, bronchitis and asthma.
Women and children suffer from malaria and anaemia due to lack of nutritious food, the study revealed. (UNI)