Rohini and I met factory workers who were mostly women in Bommanahali today and I spoke about one of my core manifesto promises – the Mitras network.
I have committed to creating a platform, which every Bengaluru citizen can join. These citizens will be the Mitras, who will work with government agencies to ensure that the goals that the government and political leaders are fulfilled.
This will be a volunteering platform for all citizens of Bengaluru. Citizens can be Vidya Mitras, who can work as volunteer teachers in schools, and help improve school performance. They can be Kere Mitras, citizen groups who will adopt a lake and other local water sources, and work with government agencies to protect and revive it.
They can be Suchi Mitras, who will help implement local garbage solutions are implemented, so that there is no garbage on the street. They will be Mahila Mitras, all-women groups who will work with our police and our security agencies, to make sure that the commitments towards greater protection of our women, are met.
Politics is not about putting a nice looking poster in front of a garbage dump, and pretending everything is fine. Politics is making promises we know we can deliver, and putting the system in place, so that we implement these promises. And we can’t implement our solutions alone. We need everyone, from leaders to ordinary citizens to work together to get it done.
The women workers took very well to this initiative and have promised me their support.
I had a good lunch with the workers which included a meal of plain rice, sambhar and vegetables that was served in the factory mess.
Rohini and I have promised to visit the factories in three months and arrange a meeting with all factory owners and employees to reach a common ground on improving working conditions at the factories.
The women we spoke to shared issues with relation to their work and life. A floor leader spoke about the difficulty in achieving work-life balance because of the long work-hours and the sub-standard pay. Others complained about the lack of personal security and instances of harassment at the work place. One of the women we met called Ganga, expressed helplessness about her health condition that has worsened because of her garment related work. We assured her of our support.
Rohini also spent time talking to the children of these women who miss their mothers because of the long work hours.
These are some of the issues Rohini and I want to sort out after three months.