HELP FOR DAY LABORERS IN INDIA
They work without contracts. No labor laws protect them. They iron clothes, lay bricks, drive taxis, sell metal scraps or vegetables, sweep streets, work in the fields, and take odd jobs.
This Hindu woman goes door-to-door each day seeking work as a domestic helper to feed her five children (all under the age of 15.)
"They are day laborers—women and men, husbands and widows, who depend on daily wages to feed their children that night. Day laborers take jobs as they find them, relentlessly pursuing employment to provide for their families." reports Hope International. According to the BBC News: “most do not have access to pensions, sick leave, paid leave or any kind of insurance. Many do not have bank accounts, relying on cash to meet their daily needs.”
The Covid 19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on the vulnerability of the millions of people in India depending on day laborer jobs to support their families. For many of them, the threat of starvation is a greater risk than the virus. Kerusomen Gospel Ministries, through its local churches in India, is delivering food to these vulnerable people since the lockdown began in March. Here are just a few of their stories...
In India, at least 70% of the labor force is employed in informal sector jobs, without a government safety net or savings.
A woman whose profession is ironing clothes was left alone and without provision until KGM food relief arrived with supplies. The business she depended on to buy her daily food was prohibited under the sudden lockdown orders. Her son and daughter-in-law refused to help her.
Five families work construction jobs.
Pastor Saha reports: "These brick workers don't have the local vote so they were not entitled to get help from the government crisis supplies."
Outcasts like this woman
with leprosy and other outcasts like Maya, the widow pictured below are the most vulnerable.
Maya earns just enough
to eat each day (about $2) by collecting and selling scrap metal from the streets each day. Without warning, the lockdown reduced her daily income to $0. She has no savings to fall back on. She lives in a slum area with her two children.
The Importance of Savings Programs