Home-based workers are those who work at home, regardless of whether it is their default place of work. They’re predominantly the bottom of supply chains in garment industries, domestic work, packaging units, hawking, vending, coir making, papad making, beedi work, etc. Aajeevika Bureau reported that migrant women who do home-based work for over 8 hours a day to make just Rs 10-15 during the pandemic *. Home Workers are part of the gig economy, which currently has over 2 billion workers worldwide *. According to Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), India has 7.3 million women home-based workers in urban areas. Over 50 lakh homeworkers are estimated in the garment and textile supply chains alone. In India, there is no specific national policy for home-based workers, as their employers are often challenging to identify. Worker Welfare Boards are their only options.
In this episode of The Suno India Show, we spoke with Sujatha Mody from Pen Thozhilalargal Sangam, a working women’s organisation in Chennai, to understand how women who work from their homes are recognised and how their lives were impacted by the pandemic.