Dalit workers in Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Labour Union in south India organises dalit* and tribal men and women, who are employed in poorly paid jobs such as domestic work, construction, flower selling, quarry work, vegetable growing, rubbish picking and graveyard work. Traditionally these groups have not been organised and they are highly vulnerable to exploitation. Hundreds of local leaders have been trained and union and cooperative membership has built to more than 30,000.
Your support helps train and organise cooperatives and unions so dalit and tribal men and women can increase their family’s income and also gain respect and recognition in their wider community.
*Once known as untouchable, dalit is the name preferred by those at the bottom of the Hindu caste system in India. It means “downtrodden or oppressed.”
UnionAID posts on dalit workers in India:
In 2014 UnionAID partnered with the Tamil Nadu Labour Union (TNLU) to undertake a 3 year project to lift the incomes of over 800 Dalit and Tribal workers in Tamil ...Read more
Jeevanandhan’s days are spent in a lopsided hut down a back alley in Madurai, surrounded by metal bowls piled to the ceiling and stifling humidity. His whole life he has ...Read more
The small thatch roof structures nestled amongst the sugar cane fields to the west of Madurai city go largely unnoticed by passing traffic. But it is within these simple buildings ...Read more
Meenakshi never chose the life of a cremation worker. Her husband was born into the job due to his caste and when he died 25 years ago, the responsibility for ...Read more
In June 2017 UnionAID volunteer and NZEI Te Riu Roa staff member Gina Lockyer visited Tamil Nadu to evaluate the project run by the TNLU providing after school education to ...Read more
Old coins, waste paper, copper, plastics, wire and other metals found in household rubbish have for years provided a meagre income for rag pickers from thirteen Madurai slums. But these ...Read more
Everyday Senhol Mary starts out before dawn, walking for nearly an hour through the streets of Madurai to get to the house of the family she works for. Like millions of ...Read more
174 domestic workers trained Traditionally underpaid and often exploited, domestic workers in Madurai city have learnt how to use modern technology like washing machines, microwaves and food mixers. Through the TNLU ...Read more
From the slums of Madurai to the hillside villages of Kodaikanal, Dalit and Tribal children are proudly teaching their parents how to write their own names in a remarkable new ...Read more
UnionAID’s cooperative and union building project in Tamil Nadu, will also provide evening education centres for the children of workers. These centres are being funded by NZEI TE Riu Roa. Dalit and ...Read more