stitching for success - the cheap labour fuelling india\'s election campaign
Thomson Reuters Foundation-
Nagaraje nataraje and his wife and daughter have up to 14 hours a day to have an intuition about sewing machines, a party vying for votes in India\'s upcoming general election
They are one of thousands of family workers who work hard to meet the soaring demand for party goods --
From flag to t. From shirt to hat
This is the largest democratic movement in the world.
Despite the urgency of the situation, it is not a profitable job.
The income of the Nataraj family is between 1 and 10 Indian rupees (less than 15 U. S. cents)
Every flag they produce, forcing them to work from dawn to dusk to ensure decent wages.
Job creation has become one of the biggest problems in India\'s staggered general election, which began on April 11 and counted on May 23.
But labor rights advocates say political parties are campaigning with the support of cheap temporary workers.
Many people claim to be fighting.
\"These orders will not flow to large factories because prices will rise,\" natarai said on the phone at Tirupur, a garment manufacturing center in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
\"They gave us the money and paid us a lower salary.
We agreed because we had no choice.
\"The campaign in India is colorful, the supporters are wearing the color of the party, and the candidates are wearing t-
Shirts, hats, scarves, masks and crowns at the rally.
Most of these goods are produced by women working from home, and the lack of transparency in the supply chain makes it difficult to ensure a minimum wage or to find forced labor conditions, activists said.
Amarnath Sharma, secretary-general of the garment and Union of Workers, said: \"The main point of today\'s big campaign talk is unemployment, but no one talks about the situation of people who are engaged in this work . \".
\"Wages should be a question of opinion polls, on the contrary, their exploitation continues even when workers are making election materials.
India\'s main opposition Congress party this week pledged to give priority to job creation and protection, and the party said it was unable to identify all manufacturers of its flag.
\"This is a very complex supply chain, especially one involving domestic workers,\" said Shahnaz Rafique, national coordinator for apparel and family affairs of the party. based workers.
\"We realize that outsourcing is sometimes not guaranteed even the minimum wage.
This is the problem that we are going to study.
Representative of Prime Minister Modi\'s BJP (BJP)
Either don\'t know, or don\'t care about the election --
Theme clothing and goods are being produced.
A link on the party site lets fans see NaMo items where t-
The price of the shirt is only Rs 120. Modi-
Subject items can also be obtained through dedicated apps and vending machines at party rallies.
\"This has become a craze,\" said Rohit Chahal, head of state media for the People\'s Party\'s youth sector.
\"I don\'t know t-
Where did the shirt come from, but I know who bought it and wore it.
We are not concerned about purchasing.
Our goal is for Prime Minister Modi to be re-elected by a larger majority.
It\'s about visibility. A Delhi-
Manufacturers based in Vimal Sharma have issued more than 100,000 t-
With a shirt with Modi\'s face or campaign slogan, orders are still flooding.
\"These things are cheap and fast --
Sharma told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
\"Supporters have ordered thousands of such t-
Free distribution of shirts at political rallies or to friends and family.
As a result, the price has bottomed out.
So is profit --
The lowest price for Sharma making t-has been quoted
The shirt is Rs 60 Indian, which means he earns less than Rs 1.
The second Imran Khan.
A generation of flag manufacturers in western Gujarat are also making modest profits.
He said that the women he outsourced to work for him had 120 flags per seam, with a salary of up to Rs 1,000, depending on the size.
\"The money is in quantity, and if they sew up thousands, they will make sure they have decent wages,\" Khan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation over the phone . \".
\"But they don\'t have other job options, so it\'s better than nothing.
\"Social awareness and compulsory education in ixiu Arokiam (SAVE)
A civil society group dedicated to the rights of garment workers in Tirupur said that people who make these products \"are almost impossible\" to obtain a statutory minimum wage.
\"A family working all day may still not have the state guarantee the minimum wage because all political parties want this material to be very cheap,\" he said . \".
Modi came to power in 2014 to offer jobs to India\'s growing youth, but his political opponents raised concerns about continued high unemployment during the campaign.
In a statement issued by the party, congressional leader Rahul Gandhi said that the country\'s main concern was \"unemployment and farmers\' woes\" and that the economy needed to be \"restarted \".
India\'s unemployment rate rose to seven.
In February, it was 2%, compared to 5.
According to data from India\'s economic think tank monitoring center, 9% in the same period last year.
The BJP has not yet issued a campaign manifesto, but Modi has repeatedly promised to create more jobs, including by attracting foreign manufacturing that helps China get rid of the poverty of millions of people.
At present, most of India\'s manufacturing capacity is in the homes of poor Indian people who are trying to make a living.
According to a study released in February, although the Indian apparel industry employs more than 12 million employees in factories, millions of people still work from home.
In Tirupur, workers are under pressure to deliver within a few weeks of the campaign order being issued.
\"I woke up at six and sat right in front of my machine,\" Nataraj said . \".
\"If we want to make enough money to eat two dinner meals, we need to work tirelessly.
There is very little money, so time is very important.
Union leader Sharma says no politician really cares about the situation of workers.
\"There is only a promise for a better future, but there is no detail on how to raise wages and improve workplace conditions,\" he said . \".
\"These workers are still invisible. ” ($1 = 69.
RS 1800 India)