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Devoted to revamp the Lives of Workers who create the World

As quoted by Madeleine, 'A skilled worker, regardless of the job description, remains a treasure'. But till date they remain one of the most vulnerable segments of the society. An establishment that sprouted up to advocate one of the most powerless chunk of the civilization is the National Democratic Workers Movement.
National Democratic Workers Movement
Here is a great opportunity to learn from National Coordinator of the firm, Christin Mary who has given us complete features of the generous work. National Democratic Workers Movement is founded by a noble soul, Jeanne Devos, a Belgian Religious Sisterand missionary who has spent her adult life serving the neediest people in India. As a teenager, she became introduced to the writings of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, from which she felt called to serve God in India. They mainly work on two aspects; one being the restoration of the diminished rights of the labour and workers, the other aspect where they strive for the protection of children in domestic work.

In India only a microscopic portion of the workforce is organised, most of which is in urban areas, leaving the rest of the working class vulnerable to blatant exploitation. As a result, closures and job losses, sub-minimum wages, bonded and slave labour, contract labour, discrimination against women and the siphoning away of money from the workers' funds characterize Indian labour. Over the last fifteen years, under the impact of globalization, privatization and structural adjustment policies the situation is further deteriorating. Despite stiff opposition from trade unions, the government succeeded in making major inroads into workers' rights.

We put efforts to bring awareness in them regarding their rights for which they should fight in the form of campaigns and councelling sessions. We take lead in representing workers on the basis of discrimination, illegal closures, illegal termination, starvation death cases, minimum wages, no-pay and others”, says Christin.
National Democratic Workers Movement
The objective behind our campaigns is to identify measures for remedying loopholes and provisions in the existing legal and government structure that allow corporations to abuse human rights and environment without any fear of punishment. By organizing Consultation at a national level we give organizations, trade unions, labor lawyers, judges , journalist, academicians and other professionals across the country, a platform to present their struggles on variety of labour right issues and work together for bringing about a change.

Children are pushed into domestic work due to food insecurities, natural calamities, religious unrest and conflicts or fragmentation of the family. Also, domestic work is considered as an easy ‘occupation’ to be picked by the child. The society at large considers child domestic work as acceptable in place of a child studying or playing! We fight to change this mindset. Child labour in any form is illegal. Also, it is a misconception that children are protected at the employers’ house. There vulnerability increases as they have nobody to turn to. There plight is invisible and inaccessible. There are numerous instances of child being physically, sexually, and mentally abused at an employer’s house and then being rescued.
National Democratic Workers Movement
NDWM battles against many evil incarnations in the form of children being brought by their family members, others come with domestic workers who come back to the village on leave, others are brought by priest and sisters to work in convents, with family friends. Majority of them are brought by placement agencies and agents while the rest are trafficked.

To address the issue of children in domestic work, NDWM works at the policy, awareness, and intervention level. NDWM advocates protection of children from child labour via women and youth movements. They conduct street plays at villages and cities to prevent child labour. The street plays also act as an effective medium to bring forth the plight of children who work.

We do face struggles in the form of people giving up their struggles. That is when we motivate them and renergize them to fight hard. Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends.”

25 years of struggle has definitely shown results. The villages where we hold our campaigns have become conscious. Trafficking has reduced considerably in these areas as the awareness amongst villagers has increased and arrests of traffickers have taken place too. Parents who have sent there children to work set off to find them and get them back. In due course of work, we also have been able to expand our network in different states. NDWM also does intensive media campaign as it is imperative for the society to be aware of these issues. But we still have a long way to go.
High-powered words from this spirited individual has given us an inside view into the glorious work of this sublime monolith. Let us not forget that ‘The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregte of tiny pushes of each honest worker.’

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 2nd May 2016.
Interning IJ Sowparnika Koka
A spirited individual who believes in passing the learned lessons to the world.

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