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.