DefExpo-2018: Workers Made To Live In Tiny Enclosures At Exhibition Aimed To Display India As “Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”
April 11th, 2018
Image Credit: Martin Louis
The DefExpo-2018, organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence is all set to start from today (April 11) at Thiruvidanthai, Kancheepuram, Chennai. The tenth in the series, this DefExpo is expected to showcase India as an “Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”.
However, it is being reported that the workers working day and night in the sweltering heat of 35 C and humidity touching 70%, are made to live in small enclosures measuring 3 feet x 4 feet.
The treatment meted out to the workers can be described to be completely inhuman as these enclosures shelter three to four workers. They use their bags as pillows. There are rows of these temporary enclosures made of steel pipes on the sides and having wooden floorboards and roof. These enclosures are so small that it is difficult to even to sit upright and one has crawl inside.
While speaking to The New Indian Express, several workers said, “We were told to use shelters for a couple of days initially and were promised better accommodation later. But nothing happened. We have been sleeping here for more than 15 days, enduring heat and mosquito menace. We are left with no choice.”
These workers are engaged by Pavilions and Interiors India Pvt Ltd, a Delhi based company. Most of the workers are from Delhi and Mumbai. Many workers complained about other facilities. “We are taking bath in the open and there are only a few toilets. The quality of food is also bad.”
The New Indian Express spoke to Dinesh Chandra Yadav, an official with the Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence said that these shelters were meant for workers to have food and take a quick nap in the afternoon. He said that the night stay has been arranged at a nearby wedding hall and a few workers have been accommodated in hotels at Kovalam.
“Pavilion and Interiors India Pvt Ltd is a listed company with the Defence Exhibition Organisation and all are their regular workers,” Yadav said.
Spokesperson of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said that the responsibility of accommodation of the workers lies with the individual contractors.
It is being reported that more than 670 companies will exhibit their state-of-the-art products at the expo.
Read more at: The New Indian Express