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'Work Hours Are Less And Wages Are Higher In Cities'

Updated: Apr 27

Q. Have you ever migrated from here? If yes, why did you choose that city or town?

Construction Worker: Yes, I am a resident of this village and I often migrate for work. Work is not available in the village and even if some work is available, the wages are very low and the work hours are extremely long. On the other hand, if we go to the city, we work for less hours and the wages are much higher. So, I prefer to work in the city at places like Delhi, Patna, Ranchi, Banaras.

Q. Do your children migrate with you?

Construction Worker: No, my family does not migrate with me.

Q. Have you tried to avail benefits of the Public Distribution System (PDS) at your workplace by using One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme?

Construction Worker: No, I have not used this ONROC scheme. I don't even know about this scheme, what it is, what are the benefits. And secondly, I never felt the need for all these things in Delhi, so I do not even pay attention to them. I provide for my family with whatever money I receive from the work. My family uses the ration card in the village.

Q. If your Aadhaar is registered at your home or source village, have you faced any challenge in availing services at your place of work?

Construction Worker: No, I have not had any problem at work related to my Aadhaar card till now. Moreover, there is no need for it at the workplace. The employer only sees our identity card and submits a photocopy.

Q. What documents did the respective authorities ask from you for various government schemes you have availed?

Construction Worker: For availing foodgrains at PDS, ration card and Aadhar card is needed. For MGNREGS, a passbook, Aadhar and job card is needed. Nothing of the sort was asked for enrolling my children in government school.

Q. Are you registered with the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Welfare Board?

Construction Worker: No, I do not know about it. I am registered only under MGNREGS.

Q. Have you ever worked under MGNREGS? If yes, for how many days in a year, when, and why did you leave that work?

Construction Worker: Yes, I have worked under MGNREGS. Whenever work is available under the scheme, I do it. I need to work in the city because under MGNREGS proper work is not available even for 1-2 months in a year, making it very difficult to provide for the family on the scheme wages alone.

This interview was conducted with a Construction Worker in Bihar in Hindi on 5 November 2022, and has been translated.

Image Credits: Image by ManicSylph from Pixabay

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