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Urban Livelihoods

Question 1:

Read and discuss the following description of the living conditions of workers who come to the labour chowk.

Most workers that we find at the labour chowk cannot afford permanent accommodation and so sleep on pavements near the chowk, or they pay Rs 6 a night for a bed at a nearby shelter run by the Municipal Corporation. To compensate for the lack of security, local tea and cigarette shops function as banks, moneylenders and safety lockers, all rolled into one. Most workers leave their tools at these shops for the night for safekeeping, and pass on extra money to them. The shopkeepers keep the money safely and also offer loans to labourers in need.

Source: Aman Sethi, Hindu On-line


The living conditions of the labourers as presented in the given paragraph put forward a very bleak picture. Most of the labourers who come to the labour chowk do not have a permanent accommodation because their incomes do not allow them to afford one. Sleeping on pavements is a desperate me…

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