Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

Zero accidents and diseases at workplace: Workshop by IED at Odisha

Post by Bimal Sahu, former Insurance Commissioner, ESIC, Ministry of Labour.

A half day workshop on “Empowering Workers & Entrepreneurs on Safety, Security & Skill Development By Educating Women and Children that Zero Accident & Disease At Workplace Is Possible” organized by Institute Of Entrepreneurship Development(IED), Bhubaneswar on 30th July, 2017.

With objectives of sensitising workers and entrepreneurs including students on Safety, Social Security & Skill Development with focus on ” Zero Accidents & Disease At Workplace Is Possible”. About 60 persons from workers, Entrepreneurs and mainly MBA students from IED participated in this 3 hours programme. 

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Amar Satpathy, Chief Whip of Odisha Government along with Mr. Samarendra Sahu, Director General of IED, Odisha, Mr. B. Sekar, AGM of Indian Bank, Bhubaneswar, Mr. Madan Dhal, Vice President, INTC, Mr. Ramesh Behera, Assistant Director representing Chief Inspector Factories, besides myself. All speakers stressed on the importance of Zero Accident & Disease At Workplace which was further highlighted by MR. Amar Satpathy, hon’ble Chief Guest who wanted that Odisha should benefit from such programme to minimize if not eliminate accidents in factories in the state. He also extended his support  for the proposed symphosium of DGUV along with labour department, Govt. Of Odisha in November 2017.

In the inaugural session, a pocket size booklet (second edition) was released by the Chief Guest which was distributed to all the participants. The technical sessions were handled by myself with presentation on “Safety, Social Security & Skill Development”, Mr. Ramesh Behera on safety education along with a safety video which was very educative and by Mr. Madan Dhal as a trade union- spoke about the importance of safety, social security & skill development and lauded the efforts of DGUV and Focal Point Office for taking up  such programmes. The CEO of the institute stressed for more co-operation between the institute and DGUV on good practices in future,as proposed by me for having an MoU for creating a centre of excellence supported by BG / DGUV which will strengthen the co-operation activity in India.

The workshop concluded with a stress management session by Mr. Panda to keep a balanced life for Entrepreneurs & Workers with practical demonstration of safety tips including road accidents etc to save lives. The workshop ended with working lunch for all the participants and Guests.


1) By educating particularly students of management, it will greatly help future entrepreneurs to benefit productivity & profitability in the long run.

2) Scope for future co-operation with institute like IED, Govt. Of Odisha for creating a centre of excellence for which your discussion with XLRI may please be referred. This proposal may please be examined at your level for further necessary action.

3) The release of pocket size booklet was another landmark- containing tips and essential informations involving Safety, Social Security & Skill Development.

Smart City, Smart Scavengers through Safety, Social Security & Skill Development

Post by Bimal Sahu, former Insurance Commissioner, ESIC, Ministry of Labour.

Recently, newspapers reported the unfortunate and sad news about the death of 4 scavengers of Delhi Muncipal Corporation while cleaning safety tanks in the city. This was preceded by similar occurrence involving scavengers in cities like Chennai and Chandigarh. As per report available through media sources, 39 scavengers have lost their lives while performing the job of cleaning safety tanks etc to keep the cities smart and clean during the last 100 days.

Talk on ‘Low-skilled migration and precarious work – Where do the borders of forced migration begin and end?’

In this talk, Priya Deshingkar will draw on research conducted in different locations in Africa and Asia, including India, to draw out the conditions in which low-skilled migrants are recruited and employed and the contrasting discourses on their experience. In doing so, she will highlight the often complex and contradictory outcomes of migration and the difficulties this creates for dichotomies of forced and free labour. She will also discuss the policy implications of these findings.

For more info go on this link- http://bit.ly/2oCh1nJ

Discovering Our Voices: Agrasar

Women’s day was celebrated with full vigor and vitality. An interactive session was facilitated by our cheerful young leader in making Sonam Singh, a Societymaker team member.  The women gathered  together, flipped through the pages of history of women’s  day celebration. We gained insights into why we celebrate it today and the root of its origin. And this we was not it, we reflected and shared instances of why we still need to celebrate such a day.

Workshop on ‘Labour Migration and Social Change in South Asia’

Though the movement of people in pursuit of work is not new, labour migration appears to be a growing phenomenon in the South Asian region. Empirical studies and papers analysing government data have shown that migration is not a simple movement from village to city in this region, but involves multiple streams and patterns including short-term, iterative, permanent and return migration across short and long distances. This workshop explores aspects that link human mobility and social transformation in sending and receiving communities, especially in the context of labour migration.

Organised by the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and the French Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH) as well as supported by the Tata Trusts’ SHRAMIC initiative, this workshop has been conceived as a platform for young researchers, scholars and practitioners to share their work and receive feedback from experienced and knowledgeable experts. The 15-odd papers being presented have been selected from over 70 entries in response to a call for papers in December 2016 and represent the work of young researchers across the South Asia region.

Read more at – http://bit.ly/2nQLGeh

The Story of Ravi Bharti

This morning I asked one person engaged in painting work in my Social Science Research Institute at Allahabad who among you all are most poor. He immediately replied all are poor. This proved they are not Economists or Statisticians.

The Story of Nanka

Nanka is Nanka Bharti aged around 35 with a wife, two sons and a daughter. Naka works as a non-agricultural labourer in and around the city of Allahabad as and when engaged by the local sub-contractor under the multiple core contractors in the city. Nanka is a Dalit, his wife remains engaged as a domestic assistant, his sons are in studies and daughter just entered into the first step in school – it is Anganwadi school.

Disguised Workers

Labour is non-substitutable – mostly for the non-labourers to accumulate! Economists take a leap forward and calculate also disguised unemployment without realizing if they themselves are evicted from penning such paid calculations where do they get alternative jobs. In my understanding most of them are socially obsolete (with due apology).

Community Life of Migrants?

Slowly but steadily I have started learning why do people live community life, not all people together obviously but cross sections by region-caste-language and so on. My initial idea was it was for the poor and people engaged at the lowest segment of the labour market showing labourers living together in I-shape cluster of rooms called labour colonies (local names differ like Line Baari (Rooms arranged in I-shape with common Varanda for cooking in sub-urban areas of Calcutta) or the slum dwellers and pavement/railway platform dwellers. Sanitation is a non-question for the latter.

The Story of Rajkumar Sonkar

A common feature of living and ensuring livelihood in Uttar Pradesh is occupying caste and caste determining occupations. I had also a curiosity if I ever find Pandits (Brahmin by birth on public road ferrying goods. So this morning I asked Rajkumar his name and he responded by his first name only. I was adamant and asked him his surname – response was sonkar. This is in my understanding a caste at the bottom – my understanding rests on oral communication, so may not be reliable also.