Daily wage labourers suffer as construction works are less amid corona

Hyderabad: Amid COVID-19 outbreak, there are less construction works due to which daily wage labourers are facing major problems. One of the daily wage labourers at Balapur labour adda said, “We have not got any work for the past 15 to days, we live in the city outskirts and we are running out of food and we are not able to feed our children as there is no income. When we get daily wages we purchase daily ration and eat.”

To fight the spread of coronavirus, the government is urging people to distance themselves socially, work from home and come out only in emergencies. But social distancing means hunger for many in Hyderabad, with a work force heavily dependent on manual labor.

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Photo By: Mohammed Hussain

About 80 percent of daily wage labourers  are in the informal sector, lacking contracts and unprotected by labor laws. Many are manual laborers in the fields, factories and streets of Hyderabad. 

“When the money dries up, we will have to find a way to get work and we stand on the ‘labour adda’ from early morning hours hoping that someone will take us for work with paying good wages, earlier before corona a female labourer use to get Rs. 600 working for entire day at the construction site, males gets Rs. 800 and (maestri) who does the major work of constructing walls and other things use to get Rs. 1200 but due to the coronavirus pandemic no one is constructing houses. We are not getting proper work and wages,” said Ravi Kumar, another labourer at Balapur labour adda. 

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Photo By: Mohammed Hussain

Another female labourer Yadamma alleged that since the lockdown phase one, I have not gotten any help from the government. I do not evenhave Rs. 500 or 15 KG or rice. I have been looking for work from March earlier due to the lockdown as there was no work. Plus, after lockdown, there has been no rainy season. “No one is Constructing houses or doing any repair work which is affecting us a lot,” says Yadamma to siasat.com.


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