Wednesday, August 17, 2011

India’s awakening to the light of candour

Everyone knows that India became free in 1947 but today people have also acknowledged the reason behind India's invasion,Corruption. Its none other but Corruption. Several invaders ruled us with the help of our own people.  Our own people served in their armed forces and fought against us. We did get freedom from invaders and had the opportunity of having our own independent governance. But we became slave of corruption forever.

No revolution will come until the injustice has touched our heart. Corruption is one issue which has caught up with every citizen in or outside the country. Right form slippers being stolen outside the temples to G-scams, everyone is fed up with it. Today people bribe government officers not because they are wrong, but because they’re right and do not want any kind of trouble from them. Corruption has not just got in to our very systems but it has now got in to our nerves.  Still we were in our own comfort zones waiting for someone to give us a jolt. Anna Hazare did this.

Last time (1st time) when Anna went on fasting I thought it was another guy to come on streets just to gain some political attention. He too will end up either joining a political party or forming one of his own. But I'm glad to know that i was wrong. This time when he went on fasting and actually before he began his fast, all that happened and all that followed, moved me from within. 

Especially when some political party leaders joined the march with their party flags, they were told that it was an issue of nation’s uprightness and only national flag can be used to represent this issue. i felt the jolt too. So I decided to give my possible contributions to the revolution. So that tomorrow  when I look back i feel pride in myself for supporting the cause. Because it is not a matter of some one person getting affected but it’s the question about us waking up and voicing against what is holding us back. 
 So that we too can go out of our homes with an assurance that we are safe and if something happens, anyone will come for the rescue without having the fear of being bothered by the system itself.

I hereby submit my support to Anna Hazare for his appeal- 'these 8 days for the nation' because I too am FED UP of the corrupt system.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monitoring hazardous child labour in Tajikistan

Would like to highlight the plight of migrant workers which very common around the globe.

Labour inspectors often find it difficult to reach out to informal economy workplaces where hazardous child labour occurs most frequently. According to this year’s ILO report for World Day Against Child Labour, child labour monitoring (CLM) systems are a powerful means to support labour inspectorates. Olga Bogdanova, ILO press officer in Moscow reports about child labour monitoring in the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan.

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (ILO Online) – On 1 September, Tajik schools will open their doors wide for almost 1.7 million children in the country. But the teachers who will welcome them in their classes know too well that many of their pupils will quit school at the age of 13 or even earlier to work in various hazardous sectors, including local markets, cotton and tobacco fields.
According to estimates of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC), there are almost 200,000 working children in Tajikistan, and 10 per cent of them have never attended school. What’s more, working children are becoming younger. Today it is no longer a surprise to see working children aged five or six.
Like 98 per cent of these working children, 12-year-old Safar works in agriculture. He is a herd in his home kishlak (village) 50 km outside the capital city of Dushanbe. His is responsible for all cattle in more than 160 households in his village. Every day, whatever the weather, he runs his cattle to the mountain pasture (one and a half hours one way) and stays there for 7 hours. Needless to say that with such a work schedule Safar has dropped out of school. His mother does not object at all: “Our school is small and understaffed, and classes last only two hours a day instead of six. What’s the point for my son to go there?”
“I’d better work and support my family”, Safar says “We are six, and without my salary we will simply not survive”. Meanwhile his salary is miserable, even by Tajikistan’s standards, and there is always a risk that one of the animals gets lost or gets injured. In that case Safar will have to reimburse the owner up to USD 100.
Safar took over this job from his elder brother after he had fallen from a mountain scarp and broke his legs. He was lying there helpless until he was rescued by his home-folks who were alarmed when the cattle did not return to the village. Now Safar’s brother is disabled and can only sell vegetables at the local bazaar. “I pray nothing like that happens to me up in the mountains”, Safar says.
Safar became the main breadwinner for the family a year ago when his father went to work in Russia and completely abandoned his family back home. This is the tragedy of many broken families in today’s Tajikistan, where the number of external migrants is estimated between 500,000 and 800,000 people – in a country with a population of 7 million.
“80 per cent of working children come from a one-parent family or from a family where the father is a migrant worker”, explains Muhayo Khosabekova, national coordinator of the German-funded ILO-IPEC project. 


Friday, August 12, 2011

Plight of Migrant Workers

Migration of labour in any country has its ill effects on the migrating community. People coming out of their vicinity are vulnerable to exploitation owing to the pressure of daily needs adding to the pressure of sending money back home for the dependents. This pressure is doubled with the unavailability of work/job. Millions of workers across the globe end up working in hazardous work environment. They are also subjugated to poor living conditions and excessive work load. They often stay in groups,  often 6-7 or even more workers stay in one rented room and a shared toilet. For them it is there need to work more and more and hence earn more and more. They do not have a family waiting for them back home and hence there is nothing to do out there. They come to cities for work with a mind set to earn as much as they can and return back to their respective villages for the seasons of harvesting/sowing and be with their families. They do not want them to be covered by any insurance and hence loose on money from their earnings. They want to gather the required amount of money and reach back their respective destinations. World for them revolves around trying to meet both the ends coupled with the agony of staying away from their loved ones. 

Social Audits on the contrary wants these workers to work within limited permissible hours and get covered under insurance for their own good. In this tug of war between the right and wrong the one who benefits the most is the Employer. He trains these workers to outsmart audit-interviews adding on to workers’ plight. He being an ignorant gets exploited at this front as well.

Time has come for CSR to look beyond the audits and remediate accordingly.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

From Sustainability Strategy to Sustainable Business Practices

An Interesting write up  that says

Indicating a wide disconnect between the perceived importance of environmental, social and corporate governance and how they play in business strategy, the 2010 report pointed out that “while the belief in the strategic importance of sustainability issues is widespread among CEOs, executives continue to struggle to approach them as part and parcel of core business strategy.”
The new follow-up report adds teeth to this initial observation by showing a disparate practice of sustainable business practices across industries.
While 80% of utility industries report embedding sustainability metrics to track performance, 83% of CEOs in energy and 81% in infrastructure say their “company measures both positive and negative impacts of their activities on sustainability outcomes.”
Is sustainability measurement finally becoming accepted standard practice?
This aggregated data might indicate so, but the reality, according to Accenture’s Managing Director for Sustainability Services for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Peter Lacy, is that there remain “major gaps remain between CEO ambition and execution.” As evidence, the report says of the automotive industry:
Ninety-five percent of automotive executives believe that companies should invest in enhanced training of managers to integrate sustainability into strategy and operations, but just 52% report that their company already does so.