No prevention: BOCW Act looking good only on paper?

Every person working in these sectors are covered under the Buildings and Other Construction Workers’ (BOCW) Act, regardless of their gender.

Published: 11th September 2019 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2019 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Every person working in these sectors are covered under the Buildings and Other Construction Workers’ (BOCW)  Act, regardless of their gender.  The Act lays down a number of protective and welfare measures for the workers and their children. Needless to say, none of these provisions are implemented in reality. The Department of Women and Child Welfare, which provides compensation for a case of sexual harassment, also has no preventive measures when it comes to the case of migrant workers.

Though it has money in the form of Nirbhaya and Swachh Bharat funds, it is not utilised for the benefit of migrant victims and is confined only to the compensation aspect. There is also very little coordination between both the departments on formulating and implementing protective and welfare measures for women. 

Further, and most importantly, the Labour Department has no data on the in-state and inter-state migrant labourers working in different parts of the State. Though they are supposed to inspect work sites at regular intervals of time and ensure that the workers are provided with basic amenities, this is not always done. “Even the inspections are conducted after alerting the employer, during when the workers are forced to move out of the site temporarily,” said sources from the Labour Department. 

A senior official, however, said if incidents were brought to their notice, they would instruct the concerned authorities to take action. Though the Labour Department is playing an active role in the welfare of construction workers, it is ignorant when it comes to workers at the brick kiln. The police department, however, is keeping a check on child labour through Operation Muskaan and have rescued hundreds of children from brick kilns. 

A senior official from the Women and Child Welfare Department said: “If incidents such as these occur at work sites, victims can take it up with local authorities. They can also approach the Sakhi Centre, which ensures that compensation is paid to the victim. Though the department has funds for women, we have no role to play in terms of providing facilities to women for their welfare. This is the sole responsibility of the Labour Department.”

‘Women’s dept provides relief, can’t ensure welfare’ 

A senior official from the Women and Child Welfare Department said: “If incidents such as these occur at work sites, victims approach the Sakhi Centre, which ensures that compensation is paid to the victim.” Though the department has funds for women, we have no role to play in terms of providing facilities to women for their welfare”

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