Laborers are a part of the unorganized sector and they face several obstacles as they form a large percentage of the under-privileged working class. Currently, in India the labor force is in surplus. This is because of the lack of adequate demand in all sectors. The high rate of population also has created a surplus to the already existing labor force. Lack of proper vocational centers and skill information among the labor forces is the reason why unskilled workers find it difficult to employment. They add to the unemployed numbers in the country.
Skilled labor also does not get absorbed easily and a huge number of technically educated youths who have taken courses in technical education like engineering and other vocational courses have difficulty in getting absorbed in secondary sectors. Lack of information about jobs and improper manpower planning result in various hurdles for smooth absorption of labor force. The absence of a healthy work culture has resulted in lesser economic surplus.
In the face of this backdrop, a group of laborers are battling severe cold in the high Himalayan deserts to repair some of the world’s highest roads.These laborers are stationed near the Chang La Pass located at a height of 5,630 meters.These men from Jharkhand have no prior experience of cold weather.
The 13 men have been hired in the Tangtse district of Ladakh to ensure the key tourist route to the picturesque Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake is in good condition.The work is back-breaking and will fetch them each, a pay package of Rs.40,000. Toiling six days a week, they use their bare hands, shovels and old sacks to move rocks, with the help of local Ladhaki workers, some of them women.
Only on Sundays the laborers can bathe, do their laundry and have a shave. Every day, early morning they hop on to a truck that takes them to the site, after a breakfast of bread and tea. They to the basic housing tents after sunset. They then sit down to have a meal of rice and lentils. The laborers do without electricity and depend on kerosene stoves to cook and heat the water.The laborers like the landscape of snow and mountains; however, they are unable to stand the cold.