SLAVERY VERSION 2018? A look at Ghaziabad’s power looms where 4 deaths have happened in a month

GHAZIABAD: In a gloomy and dingy room with none air flow and a lone ceiling fan, five to six workers weave metres of clothing material as if appearing a drill. Sweat drips from their faces on a wintry Friday morning and the only sound that fills the air is the whirr of the weaving machines.
Oblivious to an outsider's presence, the employees proceed with their process — tantalisingly close to the machines — with none protection tools. None here has heard of any protection measures, none has ever been given any helmet, uniform or gloves. They come to paintings wearing free garments like shawls and lungis — potential hazards as a result of the potential for them getting entangled in the looms. "This is how we work," considered one of them says, sitting beside a cluster of electric wires dangling from the wall.

Similar is the scene in the 500-odd power looms dotting Muradnagar, home to a 5,000-strong staff employed in the factories. Over the past few days, the facility looms here have observed no less than 4 deaths beneath mysterious circumstances. The deaths have induced a flurry of questions at the operating prerequisites in these looms — concentrated around Vijay Mandi, Agrasen Market, Mamta Wali Gali and Gandhi Colony.

Each worker in these tiny factories handles no less than 4 weaving machines, double that specified beneath the labour laws. The workers bitch that in spite of slogging 12 hours day by day for 6 days per week, they take home Rs eight,000 each on the end of the month.

Most of the looms in Muradnagar serve as out of private houses. The not unusual set-up is that the owner lives at the higher floors whilst the bottom floor is earmarked for the workshop. Registration of the factories is unheard to most. To keep away from coming beneath the provisions of the manufacturing facility and labour laws, the loom owners have divided one big set-up into smaller devices having 10-12 workers in each. In a majority of the instances, each circle of relatives has three to 4 participants who own small power looms each.

According to officers, dividing the factories helps the owners save on giving PF, gratuity, insurance coverage and different financial advantages to the employees. At least 20 workers are required in a manufacturing facility to make such advantages mandatory.

Sunil Kumar (35), who has been operating in power looms for the past 20 years, mentioned: "It is a hazardous situation here. Wires, which should ideally be laid underground, are all over the floor. Anyone can trip and fall into the running machines, anyone can get electric shocks. There is no one to even switch off the power in case of an accident. The rooms are so dingy and dark that we cannot see each other. Imagine the heat here during the summers."

Each worker is paid in step with the length of the material he has woven in a day, which hovers around Rs 200-300. The workers receives a commission on a weekly basis, most commonly on Sundays.

"The power loom owners follow a hire and fire policy. There is nobody to object as most of the factories are unregistered. After demonetisation, we thought we would be paid in our bank accounts, but nothing of that sort happened," mentioned Raeesuddin (32), who has been in the profession for past 12 years.

Many of the electrical connections operating the looms are unlawful. Since the owners care little about paying for the facility, they provide minimum attention to keeping up a secure setting in the workshops. The workers blame the 4 fresh deaths at the hazardous operating prerequisites. "Many of the machines are quite old and lack safety covers. They should have discarded long back," mentioned Babu Khan, a member of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh.

An influence loom owner used to be booked on Thursday in reference to the latest of the 4 deaths in the Muradnagar workshops. Around two weeks in the past, a woman named Kiran (38) had died in a manufacturing facility it appears after her sari got entangled right into a operating gadget. A few days later, some other worker, Somnath, had tumbled down the stairs to loss of life, reportedly under the influence of alcohol. In early January, Nazeem had died in one of the workshops after the free end of his material got entangled in a gadget. Controversy, on the other hand, shrouds the fourth loss of life.

Pankaj Singh Rana, the deputy labour commissioner of Ghaziabad, mentioned: "We face difficulty in implementing the labour laws as the factories do not have the requisite workforce" Rana mentioned a crew would quickly plan an inspection of the facility looms.

Shiv Kumar Gupta, the president of the Handloom Powerloom Association and owner of a producing unit, denied the claims of the employees. "In 90% of the cases, it is the labourers' fault. They come to work drunk and do not follow the safety norms. There is a huge shortage of workforce, so we cannot even ask them to go back home," he mentioned.

SLAVERY VERSION 2018? A look at Ghaziabad’s power looms where 4 deaths have happened in a month SLAVERY VERSION 2018? A look at Ghaziabad’s power looms where 4 deaths have happened in a month Reviewed by kailash soni on February 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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