In India today the textile industry is a rapidly growing industry, currently employing more than 35 million people. The factories often employ young girls who has to work long hours under unhealthy conditions. The salary is below minimum wage and sexual harassment from managers and employers is common. The Nimba project is run by Kudumbam by the support of the Swedish organisation Nimba. The project provides training in tailoring and embroidery and legal education to former textile workers in villages in Pudukkottai district.
This is the story of one of the participants, Rajeswari. She was 16 years old when she became a contract-worker at one of the factories.
– We worked in ten hour shifts, even during the nights. If someone was sick they would force us to work a double shift, we were not allowed to say no.
In rural areas many families in Tamil Nadu place their daughters in textile factories because of poverty and the lobbying made by the companies. It is only later that the damages are noticed.
After eight months with the company Rajeswari had lost her period, got nosebleed and ended up in the hospital. Negative consequences on her health because of the chemicals in cotton production also affected Lakshmi who was 20 when she started working in a factory.
– My friends who worked there said it was very good but after joining myself I understood this was only a part of the company’s lobbying. I did not enjoy working there.
Apart from the issues regarding health, the factories where the two girls worked had nearly 250 employees who all shared two telephones and were only allowed home visits once every eight month.
Today both Rajeswari and Lakshmi are a part of the Nimba project. Together with a group of former textile workers they learn tailoring, plant nursing, embroidery and about their legal rights. The girls undergo training for a year and seem to enjoy it.
– I want to learn more about tailoring so I can have my own tailoring business in the future, I don’t want to work for a company or anyone else, Rajeswari tells us.
Read the details about the Nimba project here:
no: 113/118 Sundarraj Nagar
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (+91) 0431-2331879
Monday to saturday - 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday - Closed
Copyright @ All Rights Reserved