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Capacity building in Foundry Section
Foundry Sector
Pouring molten metal into a mould
A worker owner platform meeting in progress in Howrah

Social action
The foundries are the workplace for a large number of poor and illiterate workers – more so in the central and eastern regions of the country. To assess the issues of the fodunry workers, TERI initiated a pilot social action at Howrah foundry cluster during 2003. The activities aimed at integrating the social and technological aspects of foundry operations to provide better working environment for the foundry workers. It was also foreseen that such ameliorative actions would lead to a healthier, better provided for workforce. This would ultimately lead to better relations between the entrepreneurs and the workers, and hence to a prospering industry.

Health check-up camps and trainings were conducted in small groups in selected foundries at Howrah. The worker turnout was good, the follow-up camps were also well attended. A path-breaking event came in the form of formation of an owner-worker group for these foundries where both the sides could discuss their problems and expectations. It was proposed that both the scope and composition of the group would be enhanced to take a larger number of people under its ambit.

Knowledge Sharing
The activities of developing contents for the website of IIF (Institute of Indian Foundrymen) is a part of a larger initiative to share information with people. Over the years, the project has documented its actions and their results. The project is also a repository of DBC (divided blast cupola) and PCS (pollution control system) designs that might be useful for future replications of the technology. Since unrestrained sharing of designs may lead to bad copying and corruption of the design itself, the project is working out a strategy share the same selectively. The intervention in the foundry sector alongwith similar activities in other sectors like the glass, brick, and gasifiers is also a repository of processes that such initiatives experience. They also hold an insights into what can be done at the level of policy making to address wider issues. The foundry sector intervention, together with other previously named initiatives, is also working on a document that would share this information with various stakeholders.

The project has been working along with the IIF in strengthening its website www.indianfoundry.com with information on topics such as technology, environment, financing, and cluster related data.