2. ‘Study on Women Workers – the Unorganised Sector – Kerala’
By Smt. Bulu Roy Chowdhari & Dr. S. Radha
The pitiable conditions of workers in the unorganized sector have come in for wide-ranging discussions in various forums. The deplorable state of affairs of the workers in the unorganized sector have given shape to several social security schemes, including centrally funded programs, social insurance schemes, social assistance through welfare funds of Central and State Governments and State Government initiatives. Some of the centrally funded programmers are, National social assistance programme (old age pension, family benefit, maternity benefit), employment assurance scheme, Swaran Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Gram Smridhi Yojana and schemes for Handloom social security group insurance scheme. Among the social insurance schemes are included the Janshree Bima Yojana, Krishi Shramik Samajik Suraksha Yojana – 2001, National Policy for Older Persons and Schemes for Handloom Weavers and artisans. Group Insurance scheme for Beedi Workers.
In the wake of several policy and legislative reforms, the purpose of this project studying women workers in the unorganized sector is also to understand how far the various schemes have actually benefited women who form the chunk of the unorganized sector. Such an exercise is also imperative to understand the gender sensitivity of various schemes floated for benefit of women in the unorganized sector at various levels.
The selected sectors for the study of Kerala are cashew, coir, fisheries and bamboo Kerala is well known for its traditional industries. These industries include coir, cashew, handlooms, handicrafts and bamboo. The traditions industries are one of the major sectors, which give employment to more than 1 million people in Kerala.
The core objectives of this research study for women in the unorganized sector, selected are;
• To assess the women’s awareness and views on social benefits for them.
• To redefine their status in workplace and family.
• To examine various aspects of their work and employment.
The area for the study are ;
Fisheries sector - Kochi
Coir - Alappuzha
Cashew - Kollam
Bamboo - Idukki
The study commenced on 26.03.2010 and will be completed by the February end.
The researchers are;
Bulu Roy Chowdhary, Member of All India General Council -AITUC, Member Working Committee-AITUC, Kerala and well known women activist.
Dr. S. Radha, Former Addl. Director, Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Senior Faculty, Institute for Monitoring Economics Growth and Consultant for various NGO’s.)