Labour Support ProgramIssues » Labour

In Gujarat, 85% of the workers are unorganised labour. The term unorganised labour refers to workers in various sectors such as agriculture, construction, forest produce, self employed, plantation, gardening and nursery, watchmen, small scale and household work, loading and unloading as well as other works which involve daily wages. According to the second National Commission on Labour, unorganised workers are working in approximately 106 sectors.

Disha was founded in 1985 with a mission to mobilize tribalsto secure their right to forest land, organise and association forest produce gatherers and forest workers such as gardners and plantation workers. Disha predominantly works in the tribal dominant eastern belt of Gujarat spanning from Ambaji to Umargaam (Dang). The most backward regions of the State belong to these tribal dominant areas. Most of them are marginal farmers and they do not get enough income from agriculture for livelihood. Therefore tribals in the region often migrate to other neighbouring districts to work as agriculture labourers and construction labourers. Many work in nearby mines and quarry factories as labourers.

Providing a Platform

It has been observed and documented over the years that many of these labourers are exploited. Hence it was very essential to form association to free people from the vicious cycle of exploitation & sensitize people on labour laws in order to enable them to collectively protect their rights. The aim was to provide a platform to poor & non-literate, in order to represent their issues.

First Forest Workers' Support Program

With these objectives, Disha formed its first association of forest workers in 1987 Thereafter Agriculture workers’ association was formedin 1989 with an aim to association agriculture workers. Construction labour association was formed in 1993, to stop exploitation of migrant tribal workers from backward Dahod and Panchmahal districts and throw light on the issues they face. Many tribals have also been working in the mine factories and marble processing units in Ambaji region. Mine workers association was formed in 1994 to protect the rights of mine workers in the region.

The NREGA Support Program Formed in 2006

Lastly, NREGA association was formed in 20 after NREGA Act came into existence. This association was formed with an aim to monitor the implement the Act in its real sense, protect NREGA workers from corruption and exploitation of authorities and to facilitate in providing 100 days employment to the poor and backward people.

Addressing the issues of the tribals and the poor.

In this way Disha took the initiative to association unorganised labourers in the tribal region and has been successful in unionising tribalsfrom the most backward areas of the State. Today each association plays a unique and remarkable role in addressing the issues of tribals and the poor. All these association formed under Disha work for the objectives given below :-

  • Identity of every labourer as a labourer.
  • Minimum wages to every worker.
  • Right to social security of every worker.
  • Right to secure and quality employment to every worker.
  • Right to safe and healthy worksite facilities to every worker.
  • Avail the benefits of welfare schemes of Government.

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So far 573964 workers have became members in differents association of DISHA.... For more detail visit : www.mgnrega-disha.org