Meeting of Building Contractors
Understanding the constuction labour situation during the lockdown
In August 2020, amid the ongoing crisis faced by migrant workers, INHAF hosted a meeting with around 20 stakeholders comprising mostly of labour contractors and a few developers to assess if construction labour had returned to work sites and understand their current situation. The meeting covered the conditions of working, availability of labour, financial situation and mobility of construction workers – both skilled and unskilled – across different cities (Ahmedabad, Pune, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad).
The meeting highlighted that only a small number of construction workers had returned to work (about 50 percent) in the cities; the abrupt decision to impose the lockdown has had adverse impacts on the workers and the employers both; workers wanting to return faced many obstacles , in the villages and the cities and as a result work uptake in the construction sector was slow. Labour contractors were bearing higher expenses and more labour management compared to earlier. As workers were coming back to the sites, contractors have had to ensure safe and improved working conditions on the sites. .
PDPL is an exploratory study initiated by INHAF in Pune to involve the urban poor in defining the poverty line themselves. Pune has several dynamic unions and organizations of the urban poor who are sensitive to the impact that the poverty line has on their entitlements, benefits and development. With these member-based unions and organizations of the poor as partners, INHAF piloted the Poor Defining Poverty Line Initiative in xxxx, inspired by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights that conducted a similar study in 6 Asian countries between 2013 and 2014.
This work is seen as a special contribution to the poverty debate as also a rethink on the strategies, plans and projects for poverty reduction. It is possibly one of the first such efforts in the country’s urban sector and is meant to:
a) highlight the need for and the virtue of the bottom-up way of defining and measuring poverty, a subject of national concern and development planning and action (the poor who live poverty are well equipped to define it )
b) develop and demonstrate a participatory, consultative and community engaging methodology in doing so
c) contribute to demystification of the poverty line, at the top and the bottom, at the government and the city level
d) highlight the known deficiencies and inadequacies of the existing definition and the measuring method—the uni-dimensional, nutrition-based poverty line—to ascertain that poverty is a multifaceted and multidimensional phenomenon.