9% growth rates are now the defining feature of our economy. These figures only serve to highlight the utterly exclusive nature of the current framework of economic development especially when see in the light of the Arjun Sengupta report on Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihood in the Unorganized Sector within which lies the category of the craft worker.
Indeed the figures make for dismal reading as the Sengupta Committee has assessed that in 2004-2005 this universe of unorganized workers, defined as those who do not have employment security, work security and social security constitute a total workforce of 395 million of which 142 million are in the non agriculture sector into which most craft workers fall and 77% of this vast number have an income of less than Rs 20 per day.
This situation calls for immediate steps to ensure measures for livelihood enhancement and a minimum working standard for craft workers. As members of civil society we need to respond. How can we make a difference - what tools do we have at our disposal that can be yielded to create changes and improve livelihoods and promote economic growth.
On discussions with colleagues and associates I wish to share an experience that could lead to a way forward.
A little more than 2 years ago a band of 7 women calling themselves the Tuesday Collective gathered once every week, often more often, to work towards bring about policy change i...