About 12 extremely small huts made of plastic sheets are home to these migrant families from the villages of Mundrigi, Ramachandra, nandapalli, Myalapura and Balichakri in Yadgiri taluk, Gulbarga district. Some of the families have been working as construction labourers in Bangalore for the past 25 years. However, only one person has the election ID from here. Previously they had their huts in another piece of land but have since been evicted and have just built these huts in the past two days at this new plot. The owner of the land is a local Advocate who collects Rs. 70/- per month as rent from each family.
They do ‘freelance’ work and are not attached to any Developer or big Contractor. They work wherever they are given work and do not have any special working relationship with any one Developer or big Contractor. The work done by most are earthwork, helper and coolies work while 2 of them are Masons. The helpers receive wages of about Rs. 150/- per day for men and Rs. 100/- for women. The Mason receives Rs. 250/- per day. For earthwork they charge around Rs. 2/- to Rs.3/- per feet of work. When they began work the wages were very less. A typical working day requires them to leave home at around 8.00 a.m. and return by about 6.30 p.m.
The reason they have migrated is the desperate living conditions in the village where thet are mostly landless though one or two own small pieces of dry land. Cultivation is dependent on rains which almost always fails. In their village they receive Rs. 20/- to Rs. 30/- as daily wages for working in fields.
They belong to two castes – Kurubas and Bestras.
The children do not study and have not attended any school. The reason they give for this is the insecurity around livelihood and place to stay.
They go back to their villages for a month or so in a year and if the rains are good then they stay there for 2-3 months.
Survival is a problem especially due to the high cost of food grains and difficulty in procuring firewood. (NEED TO TALK TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SUPPLIES ABOUT TEMPORARY RATION CARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS)
Narayanapura (Labour Camp of Gina Developers):
The Labour Camp is on a vacant piece of land that belongs to Gina Developers. There are 16 tin sheds that have been put up here. Previously there were more than 50 families working but most have gone back since the apartment is almost completed. They have been employed at this site for the past year during which time they stayed in the apartment itself. However, now that paining and other finishing work is being done, they have shifted to this labour camp.
Ramaiah s/o Iyyappa (village Vogadambe, Devadurga taluk, Raichur district) is a worker and also the Mestri who brings the labour from his village and other neighbouring villages.
Workers apparently come and work for few months and then return.
The present labour camp has 16 sheds. There are two Sintex tanks that are filled with water everyday by water tankers paid for by the Developer. There is one electricity bulb for each shed and two toilets. The toilets are not used and people prefer the maidan. The Developer also provides each family with firewood as well.
The work that is done is concreting, earthwork, helper, housekeeping, etc. and the daily wage being received is Rs. 120/- for men and Rs. 80/- for women. Ramaih is the one who gets paid and in turn he pays the labour. The developer does not pay the labour directly. For this the Developer has opened a bank account for Ramaiah in Mysore Bank (main branch) and also made a PAN card for him. He receives around Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 60,000/- per week and distributes this to the labour according to the work each one does.
According to him life is difficult here. Every single couple spends upto Rs.500/- to Rs.600/- per week on rations and food supply. Whatever is saved is then taken back to the village. Couples with their children usually are the migrant labour.
When this construction is done, the work force will move to the next project site of the same developer. Ramaiah says that the same labour force does not necessarily remain ecept for few. He constantly goes back and brings labour from his village and other neighbouring villages.
He has seen no accidents at this site.
His number is 9741895161