|Labour|

What can save Kerala's small coir?

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With small coir manufacturers in Kerala unable to modernise their processes, their loss has become Tamilnadu's gain, reports P N Venugopal.
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A bitter brew in the high ranges

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Tea plantation workers in Kerala are facing starvation, following the closing down of several small and medium companies. The reason? Unrestricted imports and a sharp fall in international prices of tea. The ugly reality of the resulting poverty writ large on the faces of malnourished women and children and disillusioned men ; once safely engaged in plantation work ; is the tragic story of a `market-driven humanitarian crisis. Sreedevi Jacob
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Lives strangulated by needle and thread


27-year-old Ratnamma, a garment factory worker, was forced to deliver a baby on the streets of Bangalore. 20-year-old Gayathri was run over by the bus belonging to the Bangalore garment factory where she worked. Garment workers in Bangalore are caught in an exploitative web, reports Padmalatha Ravi. lineimage

Silent sufferance


Many women employed in unauthorised prawn processing centres across the coastal belt of Kerala develop severe health problems due to unhygienic working conditions. Sreedevi Jacob. lineimage

|Labour|

Workers Bearing the Brunt?

Trade liberalisation and the proliferation of Special Economic Zones are expected to provide livelihood opportunities for thousands. This employment is expected to balance the huge revenue losses, large-scale displacement of farmers and regional development disparities resulting from SEZs. But what are the working conditions that are actually being created in these zones? M Suchitra reports.
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Special Exploitation Zone

At Cochin's Special Economic Zone, independence is a forgotten ideal. Here, as in other SEZs, the government has long treated native soil as territorial possessions of foreign nations, exempt from taxes, rules and safeguards that apply elsewhere. The only losers are the workers. P N Venugopal reports that now this charade is being expanded.
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Thirty years with a load of fish on her head

ewasteimage Crores of taxpayer rupees are spent by government institutes each year on fisheries technology and research. How much does this impact the lives of the average fish hawkers who vend on foot? Is there any impact at all? M Suchitra visited one Kerala hawker, at a coastal village near Kochi.
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