Migrant Construction Workers of India

Neeta Mukherji

Neeta Mukherji1 is a social worker who believes in Community Organization for desired social change. She worked with Project ‘Nirman’, a project with migrant construction workers in the city of Mumbai after she completed her Post Graduate in Social Work from 1990 to 1991. Neeta believes in the Human Rights approach. Now she is working with school for deaf, and in the deaf community as a Social Worker. She has also submitted her Ph.D. thesis on the topic of Deaf Education, and is waiting her Ph.D. degree.


OBJECTIVES: This article focuses on the issue of migrant construction workers of India. The construction industry is the second largest sector of unorganised and migrant labour force in India. THEORETICAL BASE: People migrate from one destination to another in search of livelihood. Lack of education, caste discrimination and local politics force these people to migrate. Migrants get exploited when they reach their destination. METHODS: The community organization is the best method to work with such migrant labour forces. Unionization is necessary for giving rights to these migrant workers. When people are organised using Community Organization as strategy, we see many positive changes in the mindset of the affected labour, and society around. Community Organization also helps to develop skills of community work amongst social workers, and with this tool the project is able to deliver different services to work force. OUTCOMES: Community Organization is an ongoing process, but Nirman was successful in giving a minimum wage to construction workers. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Social Work education can do more research. Social workers act as mediators between migrant construction workers and government agencies and builder lobby for implementation of the legislation. Social workers provide services such as counselling and also deal with issues of domestic violence and education. Different addictions workers have and also create awareness in society about the rights of the migrant labour force.


construction workers, migration, law, discrimination

p. 51-60

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