worker owner platform meeting in progress in Howrah
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.
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.