Jan 6, 2007

Construction Workers in Mumbai

(c) Franklin McMohan

All Construction in Mumbai is done this way. Labor is cheap and available. The labor force is comprised of both women and men. Women do a lot of lifting and carrying and men perform specialized tasks. The workday is long 10-12 hours of working in humid heat. All buildings in Mumbai are built this way.

Women can be seen tending to their young ones on site. When I look back at my memories of construction sites two things come to mind.

  1. Work ethic. It is amazing.
  2. Food intake. The workers eat so little. Mostly some breads (chapatis) and lentis (Daal).

It is a testament to the tenacity of human body to extract nutrients and nourish itself from so little.

As India is getting more prosperous, this section of the society is getting left behind. Lack of quality education, health care, housing, mental health counseling is creating this division.

Another problem that is looming is availability of cheap fast food. The working class is likely to gravitate to Coke, Cheese, and Chips. This will very likely create the same situation as what we see in countries like Mexico -- Fat working class people. This obesity epidemic won't be just limited to the white collar workers.