Workers represent half the world’s population and are major contributors to economic and social development. Million workers migrated for reasons of employment. Employment-driven migration is mainly from the “relatively less developed” states to large metropolises and other large cities, wherein the migrants get absorbed in low-paid jobs in the unorganized sectors.
Workers work under very hazardous conditions. The working conditions and the facilities provided at the sites are far from satisfactory. If the workers are female, the problems at work site and while commuting gets compounded and multiplied. More so if they are pregnant or having small children. There is no system at all to take care of these children at work sites. And they just cannot take leave from work during this period lest they would face extreme financial problems.
These camps are neither well ventilated in hot weather nor well heated in cold weather. There are no proper places for workers to have their meals. Overcrowding, crude sanitation, uncontrolled surface water drainage and poor rubbish disposal are typical. On-site accommodation provided for workers is also rudimentary, comprising simple shacks with no running water or sanitation and poor ventilation. Women fare far worse, with no separate facilities, even though these are required by law.
Lakhs of children are growing up on construction sites, playing in dust and rubble. These sites are particularly hazardous for young children who are prone to many ailments and accidents because of the environment they live in. First aid facilities are usually unavailable and access to health care is difficult.
Q&A with Pooja Jain
A search for the centre of gravity of truth, that is as much existent as it is illusory. Consciously and otherwise, my art also reflects the same exploration. My artistic practice is hence, about creating imagery that is subtle and sharp at the same time. Sharp in its appearance and subtle in its implication. If one looks closely, one can see an unswerving attempt to weave in aspects of human psychology and cultural nuances.
Photography and writing…
Who left the biggest impression on you?
Psychology. It simply guided me to multiple cues that shape our thoughts and actions. My study involved forms of prejudice related to sex, race, class, weight , religion , sexual orientation and appearance. It gave me an ability to Think, Feel and Act. What I find most captivating about Psychology is , looking at an individual’s pretentious behavior in an analytical way which allows me to glance at the world in a new and contemporary angle.
Pooja Jain (b. 1986, India)
is a freelance documentary photographer based in Mumbai, India.