Established in 1988, NIRMANA initially supported campaign activities, awareness generation amongst construction workers and other welfare activities like child-care, education, health-care services, free legal aid etc. across the slums of North-West Delhi. .
Subsequently NIRMALA NIKETAN, a Domestic Workers collective was promoted to assist women or young girls who migrate often illegally or forcibly for domestic work to Delhi and other urban centres.
Now, NIRMANA addresses advocacy to livelihoods space amongst unorganised sector workers to achieve its overall vision of 'Building an Inclusive India'.
An inclusive India where all unorganised sector workers are empowered to achieve social security and dignified livelihoods
NIRMANA will build an active eco-system for the unorganised sector workers in India. It will:-
• Promote advocacy, education and public awareness programmes for governments, employers and citizens to become allies of India's unorganised sector workers.
• Dignity & Respect
In order to achieve its mission, NIRMANA addresses the entire continuum of Advocacy-to-Access (A2A) for unorganised sector workers.
Over the years, NIRMANA has realigned its activities to build campaigns / movements and also address the last mile - the real business of creating access to livelihoods; direct services like enrolment, skilling and implementing programmes.
NIRMANA organises its work for unorganised sector workers in the following three critical areas :-
• Under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, NCC- CL was recognized for the first time in 1985. NCC-CL observed that almost all existing labour and social security legislation had been designed solely for the organised sector.
• In the case of unorganised sector, employer-employee relationship keeps changing which made existing labour laws redundant. Therefore, a new paradigm of a Tripartite Board [a body that gives representation to employers, employees and government] to fill the gap left behind by the absence of any 'management' in this sector was initiated.
Late Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Our Inspiration
• NCC-CL played a crucial role in coordinating and maintaining long-term linkages amongst Central Trade Unions and independent organisations representing Construction Workers. NIRMANA's support to the NCC-CL campaign in the form of a secretariat to coordinate logistics and administrative aspects was critical to enactment of the following Central Legislations:-
o The Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996 (28 of 1996).
• NCC-CL approached the Supreme Court of India through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2006, to ask for directives for immediate and full implementation of the 1996 Acts across the country. By 2012, Supreme Court's monitoring of implementation of BOCW Acts resulted in setting up tripartite boards in all 35 States and Union Territories. Finally, a path-breaking final judgement has been passed in 19 Mar 2018 which gives specific directions to the Central, State Governments and UTs.
Rally of Construction Workers (2004)
• NIRMANA supports the National Campaign Committee for Unorganised Sector Workers to ensure effective legislation is passed by Parliament in accordance with the recommendations of the Second Labour Commission.
• NDA Government came out with different versions of the social security bills for the Unorganised Sector, none of which were sufficient to achieve the targeted goals. The NCC-USW submitted a petition signed by over one million Unorganised Sector Workers to be Petition Committee of Lok Sabha on the back of a rally of 20,000 Unorganised Sector Workers to the Parliament. A detailed Bill on social security of the Unorganised Sector Workers was also submitted directly to the Prime Minister.
• Logistic support for NCC-USW has played a crucial role in this policy debate, as there is no other open platform in the country which is willing to keep the focus on genuinely implementable social security along with employment regulation legislation for Unorganised Sector Workers.
March to Parliament (2006)
• This platform was created in 2012, comprising of several domestic workers collectives and member-based organisations from around the country that are demanding comprehensive legislation. The coordinated effort across the country is focussed on getting the Government of India to ratify ILO Convention 189 on 'Decent Work for Domestic Workers' passed in June 2011.
• There have been signature campaigns all over the country with worker organisation attempting to sensitise their local MPs on the issues affecting this often marginalised and vulnerable section of workers, with the hope they will raise it in Parliament.
NPDW Meeting attended by Labour
Minister, Delhi Govt (2015)
• Research : Assists and mentors research students on various topics pertaining to unorganised sector workers.
• Enrolment and registration : Supports the enrolment and registration of construction workers and domestic worker through community mobilisation efforts.
• Launching Change Agents: NIRMANA believes effective leadership is essential to further the campaign to secure the rights of unorganised sector workers. We celebrate and launch change agents through various programmes:-
• Leadership Academy for Domestic Workers and Construction Workers
Domestic Worker Leader Shares Her Views
After getting a deeper understanding of the working conditions of migrant domestic workers, we realised the need to provide them a sustainable future. Towards that goal, NIRMANA has developed livelihood skills training programs both at places they originate from as well as at their destination (urban centres). Accordingly, NIRMANA has taken up following livelihood programmes at these locations:-
o Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) like Lac processing
o Car Driving
Handloom Weaving Centre at Jharkhand
• In 2017, Nirmala Niketan Gharelu Kamgar Cooperative Construction and Labour Society Ltd was registered that is involved in leadership building, skill-development, vocational training, and promotion of entrepreneurship amongst domestic workers.
• ANM Co-operative society is now working towards skill upgradation of women construction workers, most affected by the introduction of mechanisation.