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Child Healthcare Project
Being organized and recognized, the construction workers are now getting their due.

Hello, my name is Duwasiya Sahu. I am 28 years old. My husband’s name is Suresh Chandra Sahu. I live at sector nine, Jankipuram, Lucknow. I have three daughters namely Arti (11years), Kiran (8 years) and Rakhi (1.5 years). Both me and my husband work as construction labourers. I am originally a resident of a small village in Bemetra district of Chhatisgarh. I am a member of the women unit of the Dihari Mazdoor Sangathan, an organization wrking for the rights of daily wage workers, facilitated by Action Aid and Vigyan Foundation. The organization has membership of 1150.

I still remember the day when I migrated to Lucknow with my husband Suresh in the chilly winters of the year 2000. Back home, we subsisted on a small farm and it had become very difficult to fend for the family with the little income. Engineering College labour post was our first work station. I started living in a bamboo hut on a small plot. At that time no organization was working for the rights of unorganized sector workers.

One day in 2010, I got to attend a meeting organized by Dihari Mazdoor Sangathan. Over the next six months I and my husband attended several of its meetings and by 2011, both of us took its formal membership.

We came to know about labour rights and different provisions for migrant workers. Next year both of us got registered under the Building and other Construction Workers Act and got labour cards. These labour cards are issued by Department of Labour and certify us as construction labourers. I motivated other workers, especially the women workers to get registered. A lot of benefits then kept on flowing in. My husband got a grant of Rs 2000/- to buy tools. Then when I got pregnant with my third child in 2013, I got the benefit of child care scheme where I got an amount of Rs 12,000. I used this money for my elder daughter’s education.

Within a time of six months, I and my husband got brand new bicycles under the workers scheme. We now travel to the worksite riding on our bicycle. When at work, I leave my little daughter at the crèche run by the labour department while my elder daughters go to school.

Like me, 425 workers have got benefitted under bicycle scheme, 4 have got maternity benefit, 24 have been benefitted by child benefit scheme while over 50 workers have got solar lights, all because of relentless efforts of Dihari Mazdoor Sangathan and Vigyan Foundation.

I recently participated in bicycle race held during the Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign. Competing on my own gave me tremendous pleasure and confidence. My best friend, Malti got the second prize.

Recognition as a worker and different benefits have emboldened me. Now I want to work to empower other women through my organization.”

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