Will Make in India also focus on Safe in India?
A citizen’s collective, Safe in India along with voluntary organization Agrasar has compiled a dossier on accidents that take place in the automobile industry in Gurgaon. The report titled -“What can safeguard Workers? – Accidents in the automobile industry in Gurgaon” lists out the host of accidents that have left many young workers maimed for life and little hope of finding employment in their line of expertise.
Once such incident is of Suraj, an 18 year old youth from Bulandshahr. Having landed a job in an auto parts manufacturing plant in Gurgaon-Manesar industrial area was his dream. However, just on third day of joining the unit, he lost two of his fingers of his right hand while handling a machine.
Suraj is yet unable to break the news to his family while his chances of finding another job in the city are dim. The recent incident wherein a 23 year old employee of an auto company was injured by a robot while trying to fix a metal sheet also throws light on the fact that the concerned factory lacked sensor barriers for 113 out of 118 robots in use on the plant.
Such is the plight of a host of other young workers in the region. Some have been seriously injured, losing fingers or limbs while handing heavy machinery. These youth are mostly migrant workers who have been hired by auto companies as cheap contract workers. Most are in their early 20s and after such accidents, most of which lead to permanent disabilities, have little hope of finding employment elsewhere.
Following interviews with survivors, doctors and hospital staff, the report indicates that an estimated 1,000 workers in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt suffer such accidents. These Gurgaon auto worker accidents have raised questions of standards adopted in the region where working on sophisticated factory machinery is concerned. It was also found that most of these accidents are not reported and while most of these injured youths lose their jobs post the accident, the strong institutional mechanisms in place leaves workers with no hope of justice.
Prabhat Aggarwal from SafeInIndia is committed to the issue of Gurgaon auto worker accidents and industrial worker’s safety and is keen to bring about industrial safety norms which would prove beneficial to the industry, workers and the government.