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Children engaged in quarries in TN, UP: NIRDPR study

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Press Trust of India Hyderabad
Children were found engaged in quarries in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and most quarries were not following any safety guidelines, a study has found.
The study has been conducted by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) in Hyderabad.
The NIRDPR has conducted the study to analyse the working conditions and socio-economic status of the migrant population in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the institute said in a release on Monday.
During the field visits made to the quarries in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, NIRDPR found that most of the quarries were not following any safety guidelines.
Workers were observed working without any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it said.
Many workers claimed that they are not provided with any safety equipment except for during labour inspections.Children were seen working with their bare hands with hammers and sieves, it said.
Poor and unskilled people from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka move to Tamil Nadu, while Uttar Pradesh attracts poor migrants from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, it said.
Seasonal migrant labourers constitute an important component of the workforce in granite quarries in Tamil Nadu and are mostly employed to do bottom-end tasks that are highly risky that the local labourers may not be willing to undertake, according to the study.
The study highlights the dynamics of people movement, their contribution to local as well as to national development.
The study has recently been published in theNational Journal of Labour and Industrial Law.
Some major highlights of the study are: Most of the workers engaged in stone quarry work are from backward castes and Scheduled Castes (they account for 77.3 per cent in Tamil Nadu).
Long term binding contracts through loans and wage advances is a widely prevalent labour hiring practice in the granite quarrying industry in both Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh,while labour conditions are slightly better in quarries operated by State-owned companies.
The migrant labour make major contributions to the Indian economy, with the construction sector being one of the largest employers in India with approximately 40 million migrants, an official release said.
The NIRDPR, an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Rural Development, is a premier National Centre of Excellence, it added.

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First Published: Oct 28 2019 | 8:25 PM IST

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