Tiruppur, one of the world capitals of cotton processing in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is a major destination for workers from nearby cities and, even more so, for those from other states in India. Unfortunately, however, the employment contracts to which they are subject often have few guarantees.
During the lockdown, in fact, many workers lost their jobs and, without any support from the employers, the situation of their families worsened considerably because they had no savings that would allow them to survive.
Meanwhile, the homeowners continued to ask for rent for the houses where they were staying: apartments where 5 or 6 people live in rooms measuring 10×10 meters, with sheet metal roofs that do not isolate the internal spaces and therefore the temperature remains high all day. In these precarious conditions, aggravated by the forced lockdonwn and therefore by the obligation to stay at home, it was especially women and children who suffered the most.
Guaranteeing food and basic necessities was our goal and thanks to the SAVE association, our partner in the project “Fighting and preventing modern slavery in Tamil Nadu”, we have provided more than 40,000 meals to the families of Tiruppur workers as well as hygiene material.
After the lockdown, protests began by workers who, not being in their place of residence, requested a transport service to return to their cities of origin. Transportation was very expensive and workers were often forced to sell their goods in order to afford the journey. Some, driven by the desire to reunite with their families, even set out on foot, thinking of reaching villages even 1000 kilometers away from Tiruppur.
We therefore intervened together with our partner SAVE to support workers in the search for safe transport.
Below is a series of photos that testify to our commitment and that of SAVE in helping the workers of Tamil Nadu: