The Maandal – Asind brick kiln cluster of District Bhilwara. The cluster has 89 brick kilns. The number of workers is likely to be around 15,000. Majority of the workers are seasonal migrants. A significant number are interstate migrants. Workers were reported from five different states in addition to Rajasthan. These are UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, and Chhattisgarh. Amongst the interstate migrants, workers are mostly from UP (Banda and Chitrakoot districts) and Bihar (Banka, Bhagalpur). Amongst workers from Rajasthan, there is a large
group from Masuda tehsil in District Ajmer. The Union formation was done in the off season of July –August, primarily based on the bharai and nikasi workers of Masuda tehsil in nearby district of Ajmer. Most of these workers belong to the Rawat caste. The union formation drew good support from the community. The labor contractors also participated enthusiastically. Experience has taught us that it is a good tactics to involve small and medium labor contractors. A demand charter was drawn up before the season began. It
asks for wage hikes across all categories of workers and improvement in working and living conditions. A PCLRA team also visited Bihar-Jharkhand, a major source area. The picture below shows a brick maker family at their home in Bihar.
A PCLRA team has been active in the field since the season began in October. The Union executive meeting was held on 15th December. The meeting was very well attended. In addition to the Union Executive, representatives from almost 50 brick kilns attended the meeting. The Executive has taken following decisions
1. From 16th December onwards, the demand charter will be given to the
employers, beginning with the Employers’ Association. The employers
are being given time till 21 December to give their response.
2. On 21st December, work will be stopped. Workers will gather at
Jharnia Mahadeo for a public meeting.
3. The next steps will be decided at the public meeting. It is
expected that if there is no settlement by then, the workers may
decide to go home.