Stuff I Do

Experiences and Encounters in Pune

Mazoor Addas

Posted by Sanskriti on July 28, 2009

Several thousand people hoping to get daily wage casual work congregate at various locations in Pune, such as Dandekar Pul, Hadapsar flyover, Aundhgaon, Warje etc. Results from a study commissioned by the DP Co and conducted by Dr Tambe at Univ of Pune reveal that a wide range of skilled, semi-skilled and un-skilled work is on offer at these mazoor addas, such as centring, masonry, carpentry, stone work, moulding, etc.  

Some of the older addas which have been in existence for over a decade or more, specialise in certain types of work (such as mandap kaam at Dandekar Pul). The newer addas typically have new migrants into the city and who mostly get picked up for construction work.

The issues are many: social ones like women get paid lesser than men and of course there is no registration or security of any sort, no place for little children; physical ones like there is no shelter from sun or rain for the people who land up hoping to get work, no toilets; no place to park bicycles, keep tools etc. Women may get picked up being promised construction work, but forced into prostitution.

The objective of the study is to document the space needs of the addas (as well as the nature of hardships and issues), and make a case for inclusion of a provision for the addas in the master plan for Pune. The 1987 Development Plan is currently being revised. The provisions for the addas may relate to creation of sheds, bicycle parking space, creches, toilets etc. 

The solutions may be quite simple, and may bring a measure of support and reduction of hardship to this sector of unorganized workers in Pune. However, the people most affected (the workers) are not organized and don’t have a voice. The DP process is not proactive enough to recognize these needs. The DP Co started out hoping to make a difference to Pune/ in Pune – make it more livable. Now, we need ideas on strategies for where and how to raise the issue enough to ensure solutions happen.


2 Responses to “Mazoor Addas”

  1. Civicus said

    Dr. Tambe’s study seems to have thrown up valuable new information on an age-old institution in the urban informal sector. The idea of creating designated spaces for such groups has been around for a few decades, and its implementation has been attempted in a number of cities in a limited, ad hoc manner for specific economic activities (usually involving trade in goods rather than services).

    The outcomes of these attempts have been variable in quality and impact, but one thing they consistently end up doing is to give legitimate space to part of the activity and actors covered, moving them upmarket in some degree, and ultimately transferring the benefits accrued to a different segment of the economic workforce than the one for which the space was intended.

    Bringing such space allocation into the purview of the DP process may serve to correct this anomaly. But for that to happen effectively the study must also look at the overall space use and mobility pattern of selected informal sector occupations within the urban fabric: Where do they live? How do they commute to the addas? How much time do they spend commuting? What mode of transport do they use? What kind of supportive economic and social functions are generated at and around the addas by the regular presence there of so many people seeking work (e.g. street-food stalls; pawnbroking and moneylending activities; buying and selling of tools of trade; sanitation, primary health-care, child-care services, schools etc.)? Do any NGOs work at the addas to help these casual workers in any way? Such information must feed into the DP to cater more effectively to the needs of this sector while protecting the interests of those who are its essential constituents.

  2. […] All these activists are also trying to highlight the issue of Mazoor Addas of casual labor. They hope that “the new master plan for Pune will be able to provide for spaces (sheds, toilets, creches, may be a registration desk) for meeting the needs of the several several thousand people who look for daily wage work in the city. A short note on a recent study appears at“ […]

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