children in the workplace

For unskilled labor, the best jobs are the ones that come with a place to stay. There was a construction site across the street from my flat in GKII that had a big dirt pile in front of it. By day I saw the families – men, women, children – shoveling dirt into pans and taking the pans into the site. At night, I saw the families – men, women, children – sleeping on the pile of dirt.

I don’t know if the privilege to sleep on a pile of dirt is a free perk (like Wunderman New York’s Friday morning bagels) or a subsidized benefit (like healthcare, of which Wunderman only paid for half). At Birender’s taxi stand, his drivers all live in a big canvas tent. One of them told me he gets paid 200 rupees a day, of which 100 rupees is deducted for room and board.

And as we’ve seen on roadsides across Delhi – and, this morning, across the road from our own flat — one of the perks of building a sidewalk is that your family gets a sidewalk to sleep on. At least, while it’s being built.

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3 responses to “children in the workplace

  1. The poverty in India breaks my heart. Words and even pictures can’t begin to convey how horrible it is.

  2. I enjoyed your blog a lot. I’m originally from India, born in Boston, and now live in Alaska. I go back to visit family in Mumbai every couple of years and love seeing how India changes yet stays the same. I especially like your photos and your take on the details of life there as “gora firengis” – enjoy the ride! Can I ask what got you there (work, I assume)?

  3. It’s great to hear feedback!

    Yes, we both work in advertising (though for different companies doing different things).

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