Safe in India's 2019 Annual Update; a 3 min Video. Much done but so much more to do....
Updated: Feb 17
Dear supporters of Safe in India
We are delighted to present our annual report of 2019, our third full year of operations. A three minute video below and explanations underneath:
1. Direct Impact: We have now assisted 2,285 injured workers (up from 1,663 last year) with their ESIC health-care and compensation.
60% of these injured workers had lost their fingers/hands/limbs and another 18% had severe fractures. We feel grateful to have helped arrange another 115 pensions (PDBs) increasing total pensions arranged to 225+ for these severely injured workers. Total compensation value assisted by us doubled to Rupees 16.8 crores (c.USD2.5m)
We took and hand-held more than 150 workers (Last year 100) to ESIC’s Regional Suvidha Samagam (“SS”- ESIC's escalation platform). In 2019, we also started taking workers to ESIC Branch Suvidha Samagams, which were generally inactive. Over three years, we think, we have more than doubled worker participation at these hitherto low-attendance and low-visibility ESIC forums, empowering these workers with knowledge and confidence, while helping ESIC improve its effectiveness and improving this process with our specific recommendations.
2. Worker Community Engagement: We crossed 1,000 worker attendance at our monthly worker support group meetings and Shramik Sammelans (larger worker events):
In addition, in Jul 2019, we started a community outreach programme to different areas in Gurgaon, Manesar and Faridabad to make more workers aware of ESIC and safety issues. In 44 weekly/monthly meetings in Gurgaon (Community Park), nearby villages (Bass, Kasan, Aliyar, Naharapur and Salarpur Kheda), and Faridabad, we reached out to and educated 360 injured workers on ESIC/safety.
3. Indirect Impact through systemic change in ESIC services nationally and in Gurgaon: We continued with our intensive engagement with ESIC at national and regional head offices for a number of process changes to improve services for 140 million dependents on ESIC. DG ESIC addressed a number of worker concerns in a video interview with SII and confirmed a few improvements requested by us.
ESIC has launched a Health Diary, based in Safe in India's Hith-laabh Diary, that will help workers have an ESIC identity and maintain medical records. This still needs to be rolled out effectively nationally. ESIC will also soon launch a Welcome Pack for all workers to improve awareness of its benefits with some of the processes going online eg. In the past years, only c.40,000 workers have availed of maternity benefits every year, while ESIC has 4cr+ registered workers. Clearly, a lot needs to be done to improve awareness.
A number of national ESIC circulars were issued based on our recommendations eg. tightening the 10 day rule for registration of workers which allows many factories to misuse it and improvements in Suvidha Samagam.
3. Indirect Impact through systemic change in safety in auto-sector Supply Chain: Our Safety initiatives progressed further in 2019. After analysing data of 1000+ injured workers from auto-sector (90%+ of our injured workers are from auto-sector), we had sent a confidential report on our findings and recommendations to Maruti, Hero and Honda (three main auto brands in Gurgaon, whose supply chain had 90% of our injured workers) In Dec18.
None of them disputed our findings and in Aug19, after six months of dialogue with them, we launched our accident prevention Report “CRUSHED” publicly over a three-part roadshow:
6Aug19 at IIM Ahmedabad (video coverage here)
11Aug19 at Gurgaon (Video coverage here)
20Aug19 at Ministry of Labour (Images here)
Since then Maruti has started taking some positive steps to reduce accidents in its supply chain. However, Hero and Honda have sadly not been as responsive, reflecting their lack of care for workers' lives and Indian productivity. We will escalate matters further in 2020 and hope that they take this issue seriously sooner rather than later.
ACMA (Automobile Component Manufacturers Association) has also agreed to a number of actions that we would pursue in 2020. We hope that SIAM also joins these actions in 2020.
In parallel, we have analysed the Business Responsibility Reports (BRRs) of top five (by market cap) Indian auto-brands (Maruti, Hero, Mahindra, Eicher, Bajaj) and Honda (unlisted MNC) to identify their compliance with NVG/NGRBC (National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct) issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) that require all businesses to be responsible for human rights in their value-chain. We are in communication with them and will publish a report on these findings and recommendations in 2020.
Our efforts with the Indian government agencies are progressing too, albeit painfully slowly. The Labour Minister and his team expressed support and we are following up on a number of actions agreed for various government agencies and departments eg. DG FASLI (government’s factory safety arm), MSME (Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise), RLIs (Regional Labour Institutes) and BIS (Bureau of Indian standards). We expect concrete action in 2020.
In 2019, the Indian Government proposed to change labour laws by aggregating and amending them though four Labour Codes. We have submitted our critical comments and recommendations to the Parliamentary Steering Committee (PSC) on the Occupational Health and Security (OSH) Labour Code and Social Security Labour Code and will continue to follow up on these. We are deeply concerned that the current drafts dilute the rights of and benefits for workers, and make matters worse, not better, for workers. We were also invited at ILO (International Labour Organisation) workshop on consultation on these Codes.
4. Building Issue awareness: In 2019, with robust data of 2,000+ injured workers, we accelerated our awareness building for the cause and of its solutions among several stakeholders. During the year, we met 1,000+ injured workers in various formats making them aware of ESIC and/or safety. We received extensive media coverage with Hindustan Times, Time of India, Business Today, Financial Express, Scroll.in, Deccan herald and several others building awareness around this issue nationally.
We started testing increased activity on our YouTube Channel, with new content for stakeholders, increasing the number of views from c.1000 to 5,000+ in one year. The number of monthly views on our website exceeded 1,000 in several months for the first time.
We also conducted our 4th annual workshop at IIM Ahmedabad for all 400+ first year students.
5. Organisation Development: We received our 80G approval and successfully concluded our incubation with Aajeevika Bureau, who will remain our most valuable and esteemed partner in the future. We are now an independent section 8 company which will complete its three years audited financials in FY 19-20.
Overall, an action-oriented and solution-centric year, we are proud of. We would not have been able to do this without your support. So thank you. Special thanks to our funders from IIMA, IITR and others; many of which are now strategic funders (three year commitments). We need more of you to maintain/grow our impact:-). For donations and expertise assistance needed, please write to email@example.com
Your thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team Safe in India