Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

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).
In any case here I talk about disguised employment – I mean the disguised home-based beedi rolling Muslim women workers who for socio-cultural reasons remain home-based and supplement household (male main) income. This is obviously for their livelihood security and I found in the district of Allahabad, covering both rural and urban areas, these women work with no security benefits. The major reason in my understanding is they are nowhere labourers – they are not factory workers and they do not have identity cards to show that they are entitled to health benefits. By being non-workers producing rolled beedis they suffer in silence. At home they do not have control over what they earn; they are not in the public domain to reveal what they are. They inherited this skill that was a condition of their marriage/nikah.
If you ask a doctor, ‘What do you like your son/daughter to be?’ the immediate response will be, ‘to be the same’. In this case, as may be in cases like workers at the bottom of the labour market – both visible like rickshaw pullers and invisible like this one – the nowhere labourers are not ready to see their offspring to do the same job. Education is absent. So, where their children go when they grow up? I don’t have any answer!

Bhaskar Majumdar

Bhaskar Majumdar

Bhaskar Majumder is at present Professor of Economics in G.B. Pant Social Science Institute. Previously he served as Professor and Head of the Centre for Development Studies, Central University of Bihar, Patna. He got his Graduation, Master's Degree, M. Phil., Ph.D., all in Economics, from the University of Calcutta. He is engaged in teaching and research for more the past 39 years in Calcutta, Allahabad and Patna in a number of Institute and Universities.
Professor Majumder has written and published so far nine books on social sector. He has authored so far sixty nine research papers in around twenty referred journals. In addition, he has contributed thirty chapters in books on social sciences, apart from several review articles for journals and magazines, plus publications in national and international Conference proceedings. He has so far completed 23 research projects sponsored and supported by World Bank, Ministry of Rural Development (GoI), Planning Commission, ICSSR (GoI), Industries including NTPC and Tata Chemicals. Many students got D.Phil. from the University of Allahabad under his supervision.
Bhaskar Majumdar

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