Rama Krishna Sangem
A delegation of MSI (Montfort Social Institute) called on Somesh Kumar, IAS (Retd), Chief Advisor to Telangana Chief Minister at Secretariat in Hyderabad this week. Somesh Kumar was briefed about the problems of domestic helps, gig and App (platform) based workers and garbage collectors (rag pickers) in Hyderabad city. All these are in informal and unorganised sector.
The delegation was led by MSI Dorector Brother Vargheese Theckananth explained the issues faced by this App workforce, who entirely depend on an informal understanding with the Apps and aggregators, but do not carry any job security. Recently, MSI, Ramanthapur in Hyderabad held seminar-cum-workshops on the problems faced by these three category of workers. In thousands, they face daily job insecurity without any social safety networks.
Study by NSLIU, Bangalore
MSI along with National School of Law of India University, Bangalore has done a research study on the working conditions of these people. Though there are differences among them as far as their special problems are concerned, one common theme is their uncertain future and absence of any social security. Insights of the study were explained to Somesh Kumar.
If App based workers face instant sackings without any notice, domestic helps are exploited by unwieldy working hours, uneven workloads and lack of dignity at workplace. The problems of garbage collectors is much worse as they face both economic hardships and health hazards in their duties. One common features of their problems is absence of an effective law to safeguard their interests.
“Somesh Kumar heard us patiently and assured us to follow it up with the government,” said Bro Vargheese while talking to Excel India later. On the occasion, Somesh Kumar unveiled a Reader on the world of platform based taxi work and a comic book on the conditions of delivery workers. Pro Babu Mathew, senior professor at NSLIU, Mohan Mani, senior fellow, Centre for Labour Studies, NSLIU were in the delegation.
Rubina Mazhar, CEO SAFA India, Shaik Salauddin, president of Telangana Gig and platform workers union, Manjula, secretary of Gruhakarmikula Union of Telangana State and John Michael, research and programme coordinator of WorkFree at MSI too participated in the deliberations.