Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

International Migrants’ Day at Aajeevika Bureau, Netaji Nagar office

Blog post by Nisha Bharti Aajeevika Bureau
International Migrants Day was celebrated at Aajeevika Bureau’s Netaji Nagar office on Sunday the 17th of December, when some workers have a day off. This first of its kind event was attended by more than 30 workers. Workers engaged in different sectors from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and some districts of Maharashtra participated in celebrating the evening. They work in jeans-dyeing units, garment-manufacturing units, electronic waste units, at construction sites and more.
The occasion was very unique because the photographs taken by workers themselves under the theme ‘Bade Shehar ki Choti Kahaniyaan,’ or ‘Small Stories of Big Cities’, were on display in this photo exhibition. Our purpose was to get the workers opinion and rationale behind capturing the image. All the workers present in the room were asked to choose a picture on display which they liked the most and they were asked to give a reason behind their choice.
Pictures on display were representative of the working conditions under which a large number of workers in informal sector are employed in a city like Mumbai. Mr. Altaf Khan took a photograph of a sanitation worker who was about to enter the choked drain. One of the workers said that ‘the supervisor of this man did not provide pair of gloves and boots to him. It is really dangerous to enter the drain without these two things’. The picture taken by Mr. Wahad Khan also incited lots of discussion. He photographed a person who was going somewhere with a bundle of wire on his head. Participants said that, ‘the wires make a very heavy bundle. One can get his neck and shoulder injured if he does not lift it properly or if the person does not use proper cushioning on head’.
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Pictures by Mujib Khan, Omkar Gupta, Gokul Sharma and Ramchandra prajapati also helped workers in reflecting upon their working condition. Most of the participants raised the concern that workers shown in pictures must take responsibility for their safety. They should use gloves, footwear, and glasses. Participants were very clear that they all should be careful while working, and safety at the workplace is very important.

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Pictures from Aajeevika Bureau

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