Tuesday, November 2, 2010

OSHA, Unions and Child Labor Laws…

…not so big in India.
 
Construction, whether the project is large or small, seems to be a slow and arduous process here.  The simplest of tools are not always available, as I witnessed from the window of our last hotel.  Lack of safety made me cringe at this hotel and seeing the lives some children made me cry.

I watched a stone wall get built the old fashioned way.  Five men dug a trench about three feet deep and approximately 200 feet long; while one used a pick the others had only sharpened sticks to work with.  The loosened dirt was removed when they scooped it into large bowls and carried it away on their heads.  Once the trench was dug (three days later) they hand mixed cement using water that had to be carried in, and the heavy stones were set in place.  The whole project took about a week and a half.  



A quite larger project can be seen outside the window of the current hotel we’re in.  From the billboard displayed, this building will have 15 stories when it’s completed.  Construction began about a year ago and they now have the skeleton for eight of the floors.  This is common here, one story at a time.  It is also common for buildings to be occupied while still under construction.  Paul’s office is located on the second story of a building where the third is still under way.  Talk about building from the ground up.

If using bamboo for scaffolding doesn’t seem safe, take a look at how it’s used here.  Also note the lack of any safety harnesses. 


A lot of road work is done by hand, instead of with machinery, because labor is cheap.  Entire families will travel to the city for these jobs; and it is not just the men you see working, but women and children too. 
Namaste~

7 comments:

Blondefabulous said...

I often try to tell my kids just how good they have it..... I may make them read this just to illustrate how good they do have it!

LceeL said...

I spent a lot of years in Asia when i was in the Military - and even though things have changed substantially over the last 40 years, it's blazingly obvious that some things have remained exactly and tragically the same.

hello haha narf said...

breaks my heart to see that shoeless baby working. i guess working is ok as when i was little i loved to help my parents do anything and everything, but the little feet just get to me.

Bama Cheryl said...

You just have to feel for people living and working in such primitive conditions. I work extensively with a bunch of people in India and they're writing about all the indulgences that Americans take for granted (like shoes, for example). As I make their writing into American English, I often wonder what they think about Americans and how they live. I'll say "have a good weekend" on a Friday but I can't help but wonder what level of squalid conditions they go home to.

Captain Dumbass said...

That would have been us a 100 years ago. Hopefully it doesn't take them as long to catch up.

Life with Kaishon said...

That is truly heartbreaking : (

Eva said...

You are telling such a captivating story with that camera of yours! Seeing that little one reminds me of my own - always eager to help with anything and everything. He needs some shoes. :(

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, we saw a lot of manual labor on the construction sites in and around our compound. But since Saudi is such a wealthy country, they usually had the tools for the job. Most of the laborers were men from Pakistan (don't know why) and I was told that they would send most of their paycheck back home to their families. We are all so very fortunate to live in such a safe and rich country.