Welfare of Unorganized Workers
We have a plan of creating a child labour free Dindigul District. Unless the parents of the child labourers are provided with required economical support we can not address the issue of child labourers. Hence, we organize the unorganized workers into Self Help Groups and extend them the micro-credit facilities. As a consequence the economical status of poor families are improved and so the parents get sufficient income to run their families and send their children to schools instead of sending them for working in factories. Thus, we are creating a favourable atmosphere for protecting the child rights.
According to the international definition accepted by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the term ‘informal sector’ denotes: (a) all private unincorporated enterprises (informal enterprises) or households engaged in the production and sale of goods or services, and (b) enterprises with employment size below a pre-determined threshold (SNA, 1993). The term ‘informal workers’ (or employment) is defined to include persons whose employment relationship is, in law or practice, not subject to labour legislation, social protection and certain employment benefits. Combining the two, the International Labour Organisation has coined the term ‘informal economy’ (ILO, 2002).
The term generally used in India to denote the informal sector is ‘unorganised sector’ and informal workers are referred to as ‘unorganised workers’. Similarly, informal employment is referred to as unorganised employment in the Indian context.
The harmonisation of the concepts of unorganised sector and unorganised employment with that of the internationally adopted concepts of informal sector and informal employment has been achieved by adopting a uniform definition for the unorganised sector and unorganised employment cutting across type of activity.
The term ‘unorganised sector’ is used to denote the aggregate of economic units engaged in the production of goods and services with the primary objective of generating employment and income for the persons engaged in the activity. These units are typically small in size and not distinguishable from the households managing the activity. The units thus constitute part of the household sector as unincorporated enterprises. Although the contribution of these units in the economy of India has been very significant (around 60 per cent), there has not been any uniform definition of the sector reflecting its specific characteristics. For statistical purposes, however, different agencies have been using different definitions leading to varying estimates of its size. For example, the definition of organised sector used to estimate national income differed from that adopted for estimating employment. The definitions were primarily based on data availability rather than on the characteristics of the sector. It has, therefore, become necessary to evolve and use a proper definition of the unorganised sector. The The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector deliberated on the issue extensively and considered the available international definitions. It also analysed the existing data sets available through enterprise surveys conducted by the NSSO. It is noted that the certain legislations, e.g. the Factories Act, 1948, and the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 are applicable to enterprises employing ten or more workers. The characteristics of these enterprises in terms of legal status, productivity and other economic parameters are also distinctly different from those units employing less than ten workers as revealed by different surveys. A size criterion in terms of the number of workers in addition to the ownership criteria is, therefore, found to be appropriate in defining the unorganised/informal sector.
Therefore, the Commission has adopted the following definition:
“All unincorporated private enterprises owned by individuals or households engaged in the production and sale of goods and services and operated on a proprietary or a partnership basis and employing less than 10 persons”.
Although the above definition does not make any distinction between agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises, the concept of enterprise is generally being used in India only in the context of the non-agriculture sector. The use of such a restrictive meaning of enterprise would lead to the exclusion of a large number of workers in the agriculture sector, unless a corresponding unit of enterprise in agriculture is specified and used. The Commission, therefore, believes that in the case of agriculture, each operational holding in crop production, animal husbandry, fishing, etc. needs to be considered as an enterprise for the purpose of applying the definition.
In the rural areas, the unorganised/informal sector mostly comprises landless agricultural labourers, small and marginal farmers, sharecroppers, persons engaged in animal husbandry and fishing, forest workers, toddy tappers, workers in agro-processing and food processing, and artisans such as weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters and goldsmiths. In the urban areas, it mainly consists of manual labourers in construction, carpentry, trade and transport and small and tiny manufacturing enterprises as well as persons who work as street vendors and hawkers, head-load workers, garment makers, and rag pickers, among others.
Awareness about the various welfare boards of Government of Tamil Nadu for unorganized workers:
Since the Volunteers of Chirar Urimai Mandram Dindigul Vattaram have been creating awareness about the various welfare boards of Government of Tamil Nadu for unorganized workers for the past 4 years, nearly 100 beneficiaries received the benefits of the respective welfare boards.