ActionAid Association (AAA) has a long-standing history of supporting and promoting the rights of construction workers in India. With generous support from the German Embassy in India, we recently initiated a new intervention to safeguard and advance the rights of construction workers in Delhi. Over the past six months, our initiative has significantly impacted the lives of numerous construction workers across 47 different areas and 55 construction sites spanning six districts within Delhi. During this period, we have achieved several milestones, including successfully registering and renewing 3,000 construction workers with the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (BOCWWB) and forming 20 worker collectives comprising 664 members. AAA has set up 30 camps to facilitate registration and renewal and carried out monthly awareness campaigns.
The story of Sandeep and Kavita illustrates how we have impacted the lives of numerous construction workers. The couple received a maternity benefit of Rs. 30,000, provided for registered workers. However, though applying for this benefit in November 2022, they did not receive it until June 2023. Sandeep and Kavita met a social justice leader at our awareness meetings who helped them navigate the bureaucracy, finally securing the benefit.
Our ongoing efforts, including collaboration with authorities and contractors, address critical issues like workers’ rights, social security, and fair wages. We are committed to deepening our engagement and delivering gender-responsive services at construction sites. We prioritize enhancing construction sites with gender-responsive amenities, such as separate women’s toilets, clean water access, proper lighting, and childcare and healthcare services. Working alongside social justice leaders, we are building a more equitable future for construction workers. Seventy-eight trained leaders actively visit sites and residential areas to address exploitation, social security, and fair wage concerns. The leaders also engage with the Labour Minister in Delhi to resolve portal issues, enabling numerous registered workers to access their entitled claims.
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